The Government is to come under renewed pressure to bring 12,000 people across Bradford out of fuel poverty.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House David Heath will introduce the Fuel Poverty Bill which would ensure social tariffs to stop vulnerable households facing massive bills.

It would also see an efficiency programme to bring homes up to the energy efficiency levels enjoyed by modern homes.

Latest figures show there are 12,400 families across Bradford in fuel poverty – meaning they are paying out more than ten per cent of their income on fuel bills.

Mr Heath said: “It is estimated that five million households face an impossible choice between heating and eating this winter.

“This is a measure which is needed urgently, not just in terms of social justice, but for the environment and the economic boost it could give to a struggling construction industry. It’s a bill that is timely and needs to succeed.”

A fuel poverty strategy was introduced under the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 to do everything “reasonably practicable” to end fuel poverty among vulnerable households in England and Wales by 2010.

In October campaigners failed in a high court bid to force the Government to spend more to end the problem.

Jean Walker, chairman of Bradford’s Older People’s Alliance said: “It is dreadful people are in fuel poverty.

“About 90 per cent of excess winter deaths are people over 65 and many are avoidable and everything possible should be done to help.

“I absolutely support this attempt for a Bill because the situation is desperate. I have made some cards with bullet points about keeping warm and fuel and will be going around community groups speaking about this.”

Audrey Raistrick, of Neighbourly Care Bradford, said: “People have to keep warm but also there is so much worry about paying bills.

“Fuel bills have doubled, we are paying £100 a month and it will be the same for other pensioners.

“Energy companies should be nationalised. We have been helping banks and it is disgusting normal people are suffering. We need a system to compensate people who are in need help.”

Many MPs have called for a windfall tax on the profits of the energy companies to fund a help package for those who have been affected by fuel poverty, and extend winter fuel payments to include disabled people, cancer patients, people with long term illnesses and families with disabled and young children.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said: “As the Bill has yet to be introduced we have not seen the content and cannot comment on it.”