Up to 24,000 died last winter through fuel poverty. Now >900k more to be ‘fuel-poor’

As I wrote the other day, up to 24,000 people died last winter, directly or indirectly, because of ‘fuel poverty’. Well, today BBC News mentions an announcement by ‘government advisors’ that another 300,000 households are expected to be fuel-poor by Christmas.

That’s households, not individuals – assuming just 3 people per household, that’s at least another 900,000 people. According to the BBC, over 6.5 million households will then be in fuel poverty – and this figure is expected to reach 9 million by 2016.

If 24,000 died from around 6 million fuel-poor households last winter, if we have severe cold this winter it means we can expect another 26,000 to die this year, and around 36,000 each year from 2016.

Of the people in fuel poverty, around half are pensioners, a third are disabled, and 20% are families with children under 5. The rise in energy prices is hitting our most vulnerable hardest.

This is the context in which the government’s decision to cap benefit rises to a well-below-inflation 1% needs to be understood – and don’t forget that 60% of benefit-claimants are low-paid, working people who, along with the unemployed, will predominate among the fuel-poor. The government’s ‘shirker’ rhetoric is vicious nonsense.

Seen in their right context of energy prices rising far faster than inflation and of the death toll incurred, this government’s actions, and its determination to cut tens of billions more from welfare spending while offering tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, are not just callous, ideologically-driven and criminally incompetent.

They are murderous.

7 responses to “Up to 24,000 died last winter through fuel poverty. Now >900k more to be ‘fuel-poor’

  1. Over at the DPAC website, a man called Patrick Lynch is launching a legal challenge into this whole nightmare and thank God for it. Despite a million words from all quarters about what this government is doing to the ordinary people of this country (particularly the sick and disabled whom they seem to view as “expendable”), they are not listening and never will until they hear it from a Judge. How many people are going to die waiting for this ONE case to wend it’s way through all the legal challenges the government will surely put up? To my mind, there should be numerous challenges through every court in the land and to the European Court of Human Rights simultaneously. Why are none of these huge disability action/rights groups, i.e. the people with the clout and the money it would take, not doing that?

  2. Thank God too for people like you, skywalker, and many others for putting this out there over and over again. I’m just so disheartened they are not listening while people die. What kind of a world is this?

    • Thank you for the support! Don’t give up – as people start to understand, many will get mad. I did – and spreading the word is why I write.

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