NEA Comment on today’s ONS Excess Death Statistics and the UK Government’s Autumn Statement
Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released Excess Winter Death figures for 2015/16. The Chancellor also delivered the UK Government’s Autumn Statement.
Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research at NEA comments:
“NEA’s vision is that no one should live in a cold home but last year saw 24,300 Excess Winter Deaths in England & Wales. NEA estimate that over 7,000 deaths are likely to be directly attributable to cold homes. The level of excess winter mortality may have decreased from 2014/15 when the number of excess winter deaths was uncommonly high (the highest number since 1999/2000) but cold homes are preventable and are still causing unacceptable levels of suffering and premature mortality. The Government’s Autumn Statement was a key opportunity for the Chancellor to help address this desperate problem but yet again the Government has chosen not to prioritise fixing our cold, damp homes.
“Next week NEA will launch our Warm Homes Campaign which aims to raise awareness of the importance of being able to live in a warm, comfortable home and illustrate how to improve access to equal life chances. NEA has also recently highlighted further steps that would help tackle exclusion in the energy market and help the Government meet statutory fuel poverty targets. These actions would help halt this awful winter trend reoccurring every year.”
Notes to editor
1. National Energy Action (NEA) is the leading fuel poverty charity. For further information visit www.nea.org.uk.
2. NEA’s top policy priorities can be found here.
3. This statement was written in response to Excess winter mortality in England and Wales, ONS, 23 November 2016. Click here to read the bulletin. The impact of low indoor temperatures on health was firmly established by the World Health Organisation in 1985. It is estimated by the World Health Organisation that a minimum of 30% of Excess Winter Deaths are due to people living in cold homes and therefore last year over 7,000 people are likely to have died prematurely due to cold homes in England & Wales and the five year average 8,465.
4. There are over 4 million low income households across the UK whose health and wellbeing is being severely affected as they struggle to afford the energy they need. NEA has estimated that by 2030 well over 125,000 vulnerable people across the UK will die needlessly due to living in a cold home. Furthermore, national health services could spend billions treating cold-related morbidity, in excess of £22bn in England and Wales alone over the same 14 year period.