25 October 2012

In Groot-Brittannië sterven jaarlijks 20.000 bejaarden aan de kou

Groot-Brittannië is uit de recessie, las ik vandaag, en ik moest meteen denken aan de ruim 20.000 bejaarden die jaarlijks in deze zogenaamde welvaartstaat sterven aan onderkoeling ('s winters 180 mensen per dag), omdat ze verder nergens meer op kunnen besparen. Het is aan hen de keus om te besparen op voedsel of op energie. Het heeft een naam gekregen: fuel poverty. Ik voorzie dezelfde trend in Nederland voor mensen die alleen van hun AOW-uitkering moeten leven. Gelukkig zijn de winters bij ons (nog) wat milder.

Latest estimates from the Hills Review suggest that 4.1 million homes in Britain are living in fuel poverty – being forced to spend over 10% of household income to keep a “satisfactory” heating condition. Fresh concerns have also emerged over the rise of energy prices over recent months as EDF, British Gas, npower, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Energy and E. ON have all hiked prices- taking the average household energy bill up £161.

“Many of our poorest pensioners, families and disabled people, put their health at risk by having to choose between heating their homes or putting food on the table this winter,” said Audrey Gallacher, director of energy at Consumer Focus. “This is one of the most pressing and neglected concerns facing the government’s energy strategy.

“Recent energy price hikes have left fuel poverty levels soaring, with energy bills almost double what they were five years ago,” she added. “With around nine million people in England living in fuel poverty under the current measure, this has been a running sore for successive governments and we desperately need a coherent plan to address it.”

Consumer Focus estimates that the spike in energy prices could see 5.1 million homes facing fuel poverty.

Cold kills 180 British pensioners a day during winter

"Heating or eating"

Almost a third of British pensioners face poverty, the same level as that found in Lithuania, according to European Union statistics. Pensioner poverty in Britain is more than a third higher than the European average.

British pensioners among Europe's poorest


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