…from Russia Today, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: This is a sad story in itself, but what makes it worse is the government attitude of “doo doo happens”. There is a financial crunch on vulnerable segments of society, while the fat cats are fed with a silver spoon because they are viewed as contributing to the economy. Not only are their lives more valuable, but their livelihoods, also. Ask any Tory.
The article below is sparse on the needed demographic details. I knew instantly that the majority of those dying from cold weather would be senior citizens, mostly living alone, and already suffering from health issues.
So I did a little searching and quickly found that the 16,000 deaths mentioned in the current article is just the tip of the iceberg. When poverty hooks up with freezing, the Grim Reaper wins out even more. From The Guardian in 2016:
“Over the last four winters, according to the latest official figures, nearly 120,000 people in England and Wales have died of cold weather, or factors associated with cold weather such as a virulent strain of influenza.
But campaigners argue that these excess winter deaths, defined as the difference between the number of deaths that occur each winter (from December to March) and the average number of deaths during the preceding four months (August to November) and the subsequent four months (April to July), have more to do with poverty than freezing temperatures.”
And for the callous “doo doo happens” Tory crowd who could not give a crap about this issue, let’s take a look at how dying in freezing weather compares to a few other causes.
‘Cold homes are a bigger killer across the UK than road accidents, drug abuse or alcohol abuse,’ says Maria Wardrobe of National Energy Action.
What is going on here is the usual public focus on the never-ending cycle of mass media diversion stories that run on forever (Brexit, trade wars, the holocaust, etc.) and stories like this just get buried, and many more like them. That I found this on Russia Today is another symptom, and a reason why we check foreign media… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … October 04, 2019 –
The most vulnerable households spend more on their energy bills than wealthier ones, and “can therefore be at greater risk of fuel poverty,” according to a comprehensive new study by the Office of Gas and Energy Markets (Ofgem) on Thursday.
Fuel poverty, a common UK term for customers who cannot afford to keep adequately warm at an affordable cost, “increases the risk that people [will] develop ill health,” it acknowledged.
Over winter 2017-18, we estimate that fuel poverty may have contributed to 5,500 excess winter deaths and that 16,500 excess winter deaths may have been linked to people living in cold homes.
The shocking death toll occurred despite the government trying to make energy more “cost reflective” for disabled people, seniors and those living on income support. £2.5 billion ($3.8 billion) was spent on that effort, and maximum prices for standard tariffs were cut.
The revelation comes as the UK braces itself for the consequences of its departure from the EU, which – as the government’s own findings suggest – will herald bad news for “low-income groups” in case of a “no-deal” scenario.
A hard Brexit will hit them most because a bigger proportion of their money is spent on food and fuel, according to the Operation Yellowhammer files disclosed at the demand of opposition MPs.
Supermarkets are expected to increase prices as supplies of food, including fruit and vegetables imported from continental Europe, will be delayed at customs borders.
And while no disruption to electricity or gas supplies is expected, there will “probably be marked price rises for electricity customers with associated wider economic and political effects,” the dossier warned.