Thursday, August 18, 2011

Possible Cuts Leave New England Workers in the Cold

As the federal budget cuts continue, the possibility of cuts to LIHEAP, (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) are being suggested as a possibility. LIHEAP is the reason a lot of low income folks who live in cold places don't freeze to death.

From WHDH:

LePage warned that Maine's LIHEAP funding from the federal government could be cut in half, from $54 million for this year to about $26 million. He noted that the reduction could come as the cost of heating fuel rises above last year's level.

and for other New England States:

Celeste Lovett, New Hampshire's fuel assistance program manager, agreed. Federal figures show New Hampshire's LIHEAP funding could be cut from $36 million to $15 million. "It's really too soon to tell," Lovett said. "What we've done in New Hampshire is go forward with taking applications."

In Connecticut, the allocation would drop from $98 million to $41 million, Massachusetts from $175 million to $81 million, and Rhode Island from $34 million to $15.4 million.

The Obama administration, questioned about the proposed funding cut, acknowledged that the new LIHEAP figure was based on the expectation that fuel prices would be lower this winter. But in northern New England, they're expected to be in the $4-per-gallon range.

The prices aren't lower in northern New England, as I learned in looking into my own potential fuel costs, here in Northern NH. I have to heat with kerosene, and kerosene costs about $4.25 per gallon already.

Every year, cuts to LIHEAP are threatened, and so far, they haven't come to pass. The fact that these threats are made nearly every year is unspeakably cruel to those folks who are in desperate need of assistance. If these cuts do come to pass, they will hurt the unemployed, the low wage workers, and the low income, especially the elderly.

cross-posted at MainSt/

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

I won't even begin to attempt to understand how the green/grey matter of a Republican mind works, but, since they hate Socialism, they therefore refuse to assist those in dire straits regardless of what condition/season it is. However, even though they do not believe in global warming are they banking on this man made phenomenon, so as not to have to provide heating in cold winters up north? It's always challenging thinking and re-thinking hypocrisy isn't it? What isn't rocket science is that in a nation that doesn't care about education, taking care of the less fortunate, the elderly and the health of it's citizens, its esteemed GOP actually believes we can be successful (again) building on a foundation of sea sand. We're not even a Greek tragedy anymore. We're just pitiful.