DWP pulls ‘misleading’ mail blitz urging energy switch

gasThe Government has been forced to pull a major direct mail blitz urging millions of consumers – including vulnerable people – to switch energy tariff, which included the call to action “save an extra £290” on the envelope.

Around 10 million households were being sent a letter from the Department for Work & Pensions flagging up the Winter Fuel Payments, an annual tax-free payment to help older people with their gas and electricity bills.

On the back of the envelope, DWP encouraged people to move tariff despite soaring gas prices pushing many suppliers out of business and energy prices at some of their highest levels ever.

People attempting to move their supplier now are likely be forced to spend hundreds of pounds more than they already are as all the cheapest deals have been axed.

The Government initially refused to drop the campaign, claiming the envelopes had already been printed.

According to Money Saving Expert, which first broke the story, many of the people receiving the information were vulnerable but a Government spokesperson initially commented: “This is an initiative that has been in place for a number of years to encourage switching and the latest batch of 10 million envelopes was created before the rise in energy prices.

“It would’ve been impractical, costly and wasteful to replace the 10 million envelopes with new ones, and crucially it would potentially compromise our ability to make millions of Winter Fuel Payments before Christmas.”

However, it has now backtracked. The DWP said: “The message on these envelopes was simply a suggestion and no further will be issued.”

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