2 May 2023
CONTINUED CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT TO OFFER ENERGY SUPPORT TO ALL LIVEABOARD BOATERS
The Canal & River Trust is continuing to lobby the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), making the case that the Energy Bill Support Scheme needs to include all those living on boats.
Together with the Inland Waterways Association, National Association of Boat Owners, Residential Boat Owners’ Association, Association of Waterway Cruising Clubs and the Accessible Waterways Association, the Trust is calling on all boaters to write to their local MPs to help raise awareness of the issue.
For the past year, the Canal & River Trust has been in regular contact with BEIS and provided information about boat licences, types of moorings, boater demographics, and the specific needs of liveaboard boaters. Throughout, it has consistently highlighted the need to include liveaboard boaters who do not have a home mooring in the scheme and has offered to help BEIS by providing confirmation of boat licences where no home mooring is declared.
In February 2023 the Government launched a support scheme which, unfortunately, only covers liveaboard boats with a home mooring.
Matthew Symonds, national boating manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “After months of talks with Government, providing comprehensive information on boaters’ needs and finding ways to make the Scheme work, it’s incredibly disappointing that there is still no resolution on support with energy bills for those liveaboard boaters who don’t have a home mooring.
“It simply isn’t fair that some people living on boats are left out in the cold by the current Energy Bill Support Scheme. While we are continuing to work with the Government to resolve this, we would encourage all boaters to write to their local MPs and tell them about the impact this lack of support will have on a sizeable proportion of the boating community.”
The Canal & River Trust is advising boaters who are struggling with the cost of living to get in touch with its welfare team. Boaters who already receive benefits (including Universal Credit, PIP and Pension Credit), should have already received other payments to support them with the increased cost of living. The Canal & River Trust’s welfare officers are on hand to offer support with missed cost of living payments, and advice about benefits and organisations that may be able to help.
Boaters wishing to write to their MP to raise awareness about the need for the Energy Bill Support Scheme to include all those living on boats can find the contact details on the UK Parliament website.
Boaters can apply for the Government support here: Apply for energy bill support if you do not get it automatically – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Please note the Government will not directly send a link to the page and any such request will be a scam.