Winter Kills – Fuel Poverty has killed thousands

Evidence is being reviewed for stage 1 of the Fuel Poverty Bill after figures show that shockingly more than 7,800 people have died every year due to excess winter deaths.

The Fuel Poverty (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 26 June 2018 to try and ensure that by 2040 no more than 5% of homes will be living in fuel poverty and to ensure most households have an “acceptable standard of living”.

The committee will be reviewing drafts and trying to put a strategy in to place to move the bill forward, a few of the people giving evidence will be Dr Keith Baker, Co-Founder, Energy Poverty Research Initiative and Liz Marquis, Director, Energy Agency.

The world Health Organisation stated that: “on average at least 65 people a day die in the UK in Winter as a result of illnesses due to cold homes”.

Katrine Bussey, Political Editor, Press Association Scotland has said: “Overall it was estimated a quarter (24.9%) of homes in Scotland- 613,000 households – were affected by fuel poverty in 2017”.

The fuel poverty gap between rural parts of Scotland and cities has been widening, Katrine Bussey reported: “More than two fifths of Scots living in rural areas are estimated to be suffering from fuel poverty, compared to just one in five of those living in towns and cities.”

Kevin Stewart, Scotland’s Housing Minister (picture left) has stated: “We recognise the challenges that remote rural communities face and we already provide extensive support- including financial support- to remote, rural and island communities.

“We are working across government and with partners to tackle the different aspects of fuel poverty and ensure we are prioritising support to those who need it most to bring about the transformation we need to see.”

The solution is to make homes cheaper to run and much more energy efficient but in the mean time the NHS has encouraged people to stay warm, safe and comfortable when at home.

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