Fuel Poverty: The Shame of Britain

Great britain is one of the most developed countries in the world and yet a shameful number of its citizens die every year simply because they can’t afford to heat their homes. Many of these victims are the old and infirm. This year the issue has hit a plateau in the media with protests and wide spread condemnation throughout the country.

By definition a household is said to be in fuel poverty if it has to spend more than 10% of its income to fuel it to an adequate standard. According to the سرمایه گذاری مدیریت ثروت لیورپول latest figures almost 4 million households in the uk are in fuel poverty. The problem has been becoming more serious for some time. Recently a government report from the Office of National Statistics was released which stated almost 26, 000 people died in the winter of 2010-11. That’s enough to fill a football stadium.

National Energy Action which is an energy charity has launched a campaign that is trying to create awareness around the issue and has warned that due to poor heating and insulation, economic conditions and an expected bitter winter deaths this could be even higher.

Various ‘Die-In’ protests have taken place throughout the country including Leeds, Liverpool and London in the hope that more will be done to aid households and reduce the amount of deaths. One protest which was held even involved a wooden coffin for extra dramatic effect. Even though protests have taken place the government fuel allowance for pensioners has been reduced from £250. 00 to just £200. 00.

Numerous appeals and campaigns have been set up this year. One notable initiative is called The Surviving Winter Appeal which is targeted at the North West of England. According to them over 120, 000 households are suffering from fuel poverty and over 3, 500 people died last year in the North West because of the cold and sub-standard living conditions, most of which were elderly.

A significant part of the Surviving Winter campaign is to try and get people who don’t actually need their £200. 00 fuel allowance from the government to donate it to those that do. This scheme has been widely supported with calls to roll it out across the country.

What is both surprising and shocking is that the UK has higher rates of cold related deaths than much colder countries such as Finland and Germany. To put the problem in to perspective it is thought that an additional 200 people will die every day this winter because of the cold. And last year 9 people died every hour because of the freezing temperatures last year.

The present economic conditions and an ageing population are only making the situation more severe. The best way to eradicate the problem from the Uk’s society is for the government to work with the energy companies to safe guard and protect the elderly and vulnerable. The new Green Deal which is a government scheme should help but more needs to be done. 200 lives are lost every day because of the problem.

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