Highest Winter Death figure for 15 years expected

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An elderly couple wait to cross the road

Figures on ‘Excess Winter Deaths’, to be released on Wednesday 25 November, are expected to show the highest death toll for fifteen years- estimates earlier in the year suggested the figure would be 40,000. The World Health Organisation estimates that at least one third of ‘Excess Winter Deaths’ are caused by cold homes and fuel poverty.

Campaign organisations Lambeth Pensioners’ Action Group, Disabled People Against Cuts, and Fuel Poverty Action have promised a ‘challenging and creative’ protest in a central Westminster location on 25 November to highlight the ‘scandal of cold home deaths.’

The National Pensioners Convention will also release dozens of black balloons in Westminster to mark the thousands of preventable pensioner deaths.

Laura Hill of Fuel Poverty Action said: “Shortly after the ONS releases the number of Excess Winter Deaths for the last winter, we anticipate that the government will announce a cut of all support for fuel poverty preventing measures, such as the so- called ‘Green Crap’ which used to pay for free, life-saving insulation for thousands of the most vulnerable households in the UK.

“It is clear that the government doesn’t care one jot for the fuel poor in this country, or they would seriously invest in insulation and measures to bring bills down in the long-run. We have to take action on Wednesday to demand warm, healthy homes for all.’

Ellen Lebethe of the Lambeth Pensioners Action Group said: “Pensioners dying of cold related illnesses is a national scandal. It is vital that the government responds the  vicious cycle of rising bills and fuel poverty urgently. We have the right to warmth and health.”

Linda Burnip, Disabled People Against Cuts: “As social security benefits are slashed and fuel prices continue to rise many disabled people are unable to heat their homes or are forced to choose between heating and eating which is unacceptable.”