• The methods used to target assistance at
households which need it most
People are being targeted to go onto PPMs, we
believe this is around 1000 people per day - this is as a result of a debt
owed to the utility companies. The average debt is around £500 for dual fuel.
This means that an unfair proportion of the
money that goes into the debt repayment is controlled by the pre-payment
meter. This is not the same with other debts which can be renegotiated
through the common financial statement work of money advisers.
This is a really important issue that is being missed as the foregoing on
other debts can lead to homelessness (rent) and prison (council tax). The
prevalence of doorstep/illegal lenders in areas which are also areas where
there are lots of PPMs installed is a self-perpetuating problem
Just because a house is in debt should not mean
that the incoming tenant is black listed too. As an RSL where we have evicted
people for non-payment of rent this is likely to also mean there has been no
payment of other utilities. We do not black list the new incoming tenant and
see no reason why other organisations should do this. This is discriminatory.
There is a cost to remove the PPM of £50, again this could be perceived as
OFGEM say is it acceptable that the difference between a direct debit tariff
and a PPM tariff is £86 per year. The National Energy Campaign Group still
perceives this difference to be in the region of £300 per annum. We believe £86 is too great as the cost of
this does not reflect the difference between the collection costs of a direct
debit and a PayPoint (for eg.) card.