Fuel poverty kills British pensioners

This video is called High energy prices fuel UK poverty.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaigners’ plea to end fuel poverty

Saturday 29th November 2014

by Joana Ramiro

18,200 winter deaths laid at the door of big energy fims

CAMPAIGNERS blocked the entrance to Energy UK yesterday in protest over the thousands of people who died last winter due to cold homes.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed there were 18,200 of excess winter deaths last year, almost 80 per cent of those dying being over 75.

To mark another year in which steep energy bills claimed the lives of many, activists from Fuel Poverty Action marched to the headquarters of Britain’s energy industry trade association in London’s Regent Street. Its members, including EDF and British Gas, supply energy to 26 million homes.

The campaign’s Laura Hill told the Star: “We’re here today to show solidarity and support to those who have suffered from fuel poverty and those who have died from fuel poverty.”

She added that the government had done little to tackle the problem, focusing on the “the symptoms rather than the cause.

“The only way that you’re going to overcome this is by removing a system that is made for profits and introduce a public system that’s run by the people,” said Ms Hill.

The march ended in a “die in” and a rally outside Charles House where many spoke about the squeeze between plummeting wages and rocketing bills.

All African Women’s Group spokeswoman Geraldine Takundwa said: “Women do find it difficult because some of them don’t have any support at all, so they are not even able to pay any bills.

“They have to go to charity organisations like ours where they will come and have something like breakfast, lunch and something before they go home towards evening time.”

She added that while some Londoners may have two or three houses, she can’t even heat her only home.

“We are in duvet covers, we are in blankets. If you come home, you think you’re outside because we are always wearing jackets – that’s not life,” she continued. “Energy is a human right.”

Despite showing a slight drop in winter deaths in 2013 the ONS has suggested the statistic is skewed by a milder winter.

The National Pensioners Convention demanded that government admit the drop is thanks to “luck rather than design.

“Of course any fall in winter deaths is welcome, but 150 pensioners dying a day can hardly be described as a cause for celebration,” said the group’s general secretary Dot Gibson.

OVER 100,000 people in Britain could literally freeze to death over the next 25 years because they are too poor to afford to adequately heat their homes: here.

AROUND 750,000 hard-up elderly people are having to choose between food or staying warm this winter, support charity Independent Age warned yesterday. Of Britain’s 1.6 million impoverished pensioners, 900,000 are facing severe hardship made worse by low incomes and high living costs. An estimated 890,000 people go to bed early to stay warm in winter, the charity said.

One in four single parents forced to choose between eating and heating, government stats reveal: here.

A study carried out earlier this year by NAC, and the climate change charity E3G, found that up to 3,000 people are dying each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes, with the UK having the second worst rate of winter deaths in Europe, after Ireland: here.

26 thoughts on “Fuel poverty kills British pensioners

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  6. Tuesday 24th November 2015

    by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    DOZENS of black balloons will be released tomorrow to commemorate thousands of elderly people who have been killed by harsh winters amid the estimated “highest death toll in 15 years.”

    At least 18,200 elderly people died between December 2013 and March 2014 — but campaigners predict the number has more than doubled this year while gas and electricity rates have soared.

    The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) will release one balloon per 1,000 deaths soon after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) releases its provisional figures of “excess winter deaths” caused by poorly insulated damp homes and Big Six energy privateers’ high charges.

    Campaign group Fuel Poverty Action predicts that the number of cold-related deaths would be at least 40,000. It would be the “highest death toll” since the turn of the millennium, it added.

    NPC general secretary Dot Gibson accused successive governments of ignoring the thousands of tragic but preventable deaths by “crossing their fingers and hoping things will improve.”

    “The key is to make sure older people have got a well-insulated, warm home and the income needed to pay the fuel bills.

    “This is a basic requirement of what a decent society should do,” she said.

    The government “doesn’t care one jot for the fuel poor” because otherwise it would “seriously invest” in insulation and permanently rein in the Big Six, said Laura Hill of Fuel Poverty Action.

    Disabled people are also at further risk of cold-related health problems since the Tory government has slashed more benefits for those unable to work.

    This puts them in an “unacceptable” position in having to “choose between heating and eating,” said Disabled People Against Cuts campaigner Linda Burnip.

    Cold weather in Britain claims more lives than in Sweden, where winter temperatures regularly plunge to a bone-rattling -30°C, or even as low as -53°C, the NPC said.

    Ms Gibson said: “How can colder Scandinavian countries avoid this annual toll while we simply wring our hands?

    “The government needs to roll out a more effective programme to insulate homes, build more suitable properties for older people, raise the winter fuel allowance and tackle the excessive profits of the Big Six energy companies.”

    NPC members will release the balloons at Old Palace Yard in Westminster, Old Fire Station in Southampton, Monkwick School in Colchester, Civic Offices in Milton Keynes, Millennium Point in Birmingham and Cathedral Green in Exeter.



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  19. Friday 30th June 2017

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    MORE than one in 10 households are in fuel poverty, with 2.5 families million in England living below the breadline so they can[‘t] heat their homes.

    Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that in 2015 the average gap between the bills that fuel-poor households faced and what they could afford to pay was more than £350.

    And more than a fifth of private rental households face an average £410 shortfall to pay their bills.

    National Energy Action antipoverty charity director Peter Smith said it was “hugely disappointing” to see fuel poverty in England continue to rise.

    He said: “Sadly we think cold homes needlessly kill up to 80 people per day in the winter months. This is not acceptable in the fifth largest economy in the world.”

    Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “During the election campaign Theresa May promised an energy price cap, but now it’s nowhere to be seen. Austerity has failed and May has shown herself to be too weak to deliver. Labour stands ready with a plan to reduce bills and alleviate fuel poverty.”



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