Dying for profit

12:25 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

We hear it often enough don’t we, the claim that despite the profiteering fuel bills must rise, today is a case in point, with Ofgem the energy regulator announcing a £7.2bn investment programme to upgrade distribution networks which is a laudable and indeed necessary undertaking. The investment accounts for an on average rise of some £4.30, which is a small prize to pay for an efficient delivery system, yet it is not all plain selling as a sum of £500 million has been set aside to tackle “climate change”, an issue which to many has not been proved conclusively ,one way or the other.

The most pressing concern here at AAWR is fuel poverty more especially amongst the aged, individuals who have generally worked their entire lives, only to sit in their twilight years in cold, misery and fear. Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners' Convention gave a horrifying statistic when she said.” Since 1997, we have lost over 260,000 pensioners during the winter because of cold-related illnesses, yet the Government seems incapable of acting. No other section of our society is so vulnerable and treated so badly. Pensioners see rising fuel bills and are constantly worried about whether or not they can afford to put their heating on."

Only quite recently there were reports that the Winter Fuel Allowance (WFA), may be delayed due to a computer glitch, whereas in the year 2000 the excuse then was a "meltdown" of the Government helpline due to a surge in calls, one can only wonder how many pensioners died as a direct result. What we do know is that
last year winter mortality rates rose some 50%, whereas in the fours months leading to 2000 some 50,000 extra deaths were reported although the spike was put down then to an increase in influenza cases. Yet In the four months leading up to last year we lost 36,700 individuals the majority of which were pensioners, this being well above the average making the figures the highest total in a decade.

Yet again rather than addressing the profiteering of energy companies the government placed the blame elsewhere blaming the half a degree drop in temperature  below seasonal the average for the rise in deaths, yet energy companies have consistently raised their prices, last year a case in point, when the wholesale price of oil and gas had in fact fallen, yet we the consumer and more importantly the aged, the ill and the poor have not seen the benefit of this, only the energy companies. Wholesale energy prices have fallen again this year again raising profitability for energy companies and indeed pushing such profits to a five year high, it is notable here the correlation between a hike in fuel prices and the corresponding deaths as a result. It must be remembered here that the cost of wholesale energy has dropped on averaged by £10 a month for each consumer or household, yet the companies consistently up their prices and as we can see it is the most vulnerable ,the most needy, the most ill that suffer.

How can it be that we live surrounded by all manner of modern conveniences, yet those who have given their all must die in Dickens-like conditions, it seems beyond belief that as a country we are prepared to pay some £292million to keep 7,500 immigrant criminals fed clothed and “warm”, yet we permit upwards of 20000 pensioners to die year on year, yet such are the heartbreaking facts.

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