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Campaigners will stage a demonstration in central London this afternoon to urge the government to help those struggling to pay their energy bills.

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Fuel Poverty Action is planning to protest outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change to call on ministers to act for families facing a choice between eating and heating.

Rising energy costs have left more than six million households in the UK in fuel poverty because they spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating their homes, the group said.

Elizabeth Ziga, from Fuel Poverty Action, said: “While we freeze in our homes and millions of us choose between heating and eating, the Government is snugly in bed with the big six energy companies.

“Hand in hand, they’re plotting to increase our dependence on dirty and expensive gas power, which will mean even higher fuel bills as well as rising food prices due to climate change.

“With yearly price hikes, soaring big six profits and unnecessary and unjust government cuts, the Great Fuel Robbery has gone on too long.”

It comes after the so-called big six energy companies - British Gas, EDF, E.On, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE - all increased their tariffs this winter, citing rising costs of wholesale gas.

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