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PUBLISHED: 09:34 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:01 05 July 2010

IN response to Alex Thomson's letter (December 5) the Conservatives' proposals to help less well-off families with soaring energy bills were launched last month.

IN response to Alex Thomson's letter (December 5) the Conservatives' proposals to help less well-off families with soaring energy bills were launched last month.

Our proposed reform to the Post Office Card Account (POCA) will enable families without bank accounts to benefit from the lower energy and water tariffs offered to customers paying by direct debit.

This could cut the energy bills of up to four million POCA holders by up to £100 a year. There are eight million people in the UK who do not have a bank account or are effectively without a bank. Many of them use card accounts instead. But because they cannot pay bills by direct debit, they face higher prices for gas, electricity and water.

A Conservative government will reform card accounts so they can be used for the first time to pay utility bills by direct debit. This proposal, which is supported by leading utility companies, will bring significant savings to energy companies through lower collection costs, which can be passed onto consumers in the form of lower bills.

In addition, because state benefits are automatically paid into card accounts each week, customers will benefit from a more convenient way of managing their finances and paying their bills.

This policy could also generate up to £20m a year in additional revenue for Post Offices which could help prevent more of them from going to the wall as a result of Labour cuts.

PETER ALDOUS

Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Waveney

Wissett

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