Sunday 23 October 2011

Britain is no country for thousands of old men who will die of the cold this winter

Photos I took of our garden and road last winter, during which the temperature fell to a record -15 degrees centigrade.

An article in 'The Observer' newspaper today was entitled :

Cold homes will kill up to 200 older people a day, warns Age UK
Rising energy bills will put millions at risk from 'fuel poverty gap'

Research Manager at 'Age UK', Philip Rossall, said :
"The fact that these 'excess' deaths occur in winter makes it clear that they are due directly to cold and the fact that other, colder countries have lower excess winter deaths means that there is no reason that they are not preventable."

The Special Adviser for Policy, Mervyn Kohler, asked:
"Why is this not a national scandal?" There were 26,156 excess winter deaths during 2009-10, with figures for 2010-11 to be published next month. "There is no reason to suppose that the worsening trend will not continue."

The Charity's predicted figure of 200 deaths a day, follows sharp price hikes by energy companies, credited with driving inflation to its highest level in 20 years.

At the same time, a report by Britain's leading academic expert on poverty and inequality, Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics, found :
a deepening 'fuel poverty gap' and 2,700 people among the 4.8 million in England and Wales living in 'fuel poverty', defined as spending more than 10% of income on heat and light, died in the winter of 2008-09 as a direct result – a steady increase for the third year running.

Poor old men of Britain, however, you need have no fear, your Prime Minister, David Cameron, is on your case and has hosted the 'Big Six' energy companies at Downing Street to discuss the impact of soaring heating bills and his advice to you is to :

* insulate your homes properly and
* 'shop around' for deals.

Britain, the fifth richest country in the world and one where many old men face the prospect of a cold, bleak and for some of them, fatal, winter ahead.

Long range weather forecast from 'Exacta Weather' :
'This winter certainly won't be remembered or be authenticated as being mild, neither will it be dominated by periods of mild weather. Some moderation at times, but the overall theme for this winter will be very cold and snowy across many parts of the UK.'

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