Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London today attended a march by pensioners against the unacceptable and tragic deaths each year due to fuel poverty, organised to coincide with the annual release of figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), of ‘excess winter deaths’.
After meeting pensioners on the march from Charing Cross to Energy UK- the Big Six energy company’s lobby body – under the banner ‘No More Deaths from Fuel Poverty: Energy Rights Now!’ Jean, who isco-chair of the all-party group on ageing in the European Parliamentsaid:
‘As fuel bills rise and benefits fall the Government continues to ignore thousands of deaths so it’s no surprise people are on the streets. We need action to stop these figures just becoming an annual announcement of faceless statistics that are too easily forgotten. We must also recognise that the adverse health effects from cold homes makes people sick. It cannot be right that we rely on slightly warmer winters to stop people dying, rather than Government action.’
Key findings from the ONS, released today, are:
• An estimated 18,200 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2013/14; and
• 11.6% more people died in the winter months compared with the non-winter months in 2013/14; and
• There were more excess winter deaths in females than in males in 2013/14 as in previous years.
Concluding, Jean Lambert said:
‘If we had a concerted programme of energy efficiency, we could cut fuel bills, health care costs to the NHS and carbon emissions – a triple win.’