THE extent of Bradford’s fuel poverty problem has been described as “outrageous” and “grim” by local MPs.

Keighley’s Labour MP John Grogan said: “This report on fuel poverty in Bradford makes grim reading. In plain language it means nearly one in six families in our great city will have to choose this winter between keeping warm and feeding their kids and themselves.”

He called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to provide more funds in the Budget to help councils and voluntary organisations with insulation programmes and energy advice.

Judith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, said: “Too many families in Bradford, despite working long hours, struggle to pay gas and electricity bills when they drop on to their doormat at the end of each month. In a modern country such as Great Britain, this is simply outrageous.

“One part of the problem is that nearly 40 per cent of our city’s housing stock was built before 1919. Because of this, many homes are poorly insulated and very difficult to heat.

“The news that central Government has cut funding for insulation and energy efficiency programmes in the district is nothing short of scandalous. With energy price increases outstripping pay rises, fuel poverty is only likely to get worse in the short term.”

Both Mrs Cummins and Labour colleague Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, called for a proposed Government cap on energy prices to go further.

Mr Hussain said: “The cap proposed by the Prime Minister fails to go far enough and won’t be implemented in time to help people this winter, leaving it an empty promise as struggling families are left to choose between heating and eating.”

But Conservative MP Philip Davies said it was “excessive green energy taxes” that were pushing up bills.

He said: “It is about time that middle class environmentalists gave some thought to people who struggle to pay their bills.

“We should be ensuring we get the cheapest energy rather than the greenest energy and that would save money for everyone.”