Charities demand UK-wide ministerial summit into the national scandal of fuel poverty
Around 80 old people will die every day this winter due to fuel poverty.
That’s the warning being made by charities who say an urgent summit must be convened to investigate the national scandal.
Energy Action Scotland (EAS) and sister organisation National Energy Action have released a new report which estimates that over 9,600 frail and vulnerable people across the UK are at risk of dying throughout the coming winter months due to cold homes.
They now want all four UK nations’ governments to hold an urgent meeting to agree where new resources can be found to stop tragic winter deaths.
The new UK Fuel Poverty Monitor also provides the latest national fuel poverty statistics and an update on the key aspects of policy which impact on 4 million fuel poor households as well as the population at large.
The report warns that cold homes create a health crisis as they increase risks of heart attacks and strokes, worsen respiratory illnesses, arthritic and rheumatic conditions and increase propensity to falls.
Norman Kerr, director of EAS, said: “We know cold, damp conditions have the worst impact for the most vulnerable members of our society and across the UK sadly we think they kill up to 80 people per day in the winter months.
“This is not acceptable in the fifth largest economy in the world. Cold homes also cause untold havoc to our national health services.
“This costs us all as taxpayers well over £1 billion a year as well as increasingly long queues to see GPs, get treated at accident and emergency or hampers efforts to discharge vulnerable patients out of hospital."
The report claims there is no central government investment in UK wide energy efficiency programmes. It states that there are over 12 million homes across the UK that are damaging the health of their occupants, around 4 million of which contain households on the lowest incomes.
The organisations are now calling for a joint ministerial summit on health and fuel poverty with representatives from across all four nations’ governments.