Winter death toll a 'national disgrace' - Willott

2009 Tachwedd 24 5:50 PM

Today's figures from the office of National Statistics, which show thatthe number of excess winter deaths amongst older people in Wales hasincreased by a staggering 67% between 2007/08 to 2008/09 - an increaseof 930 older people in Wales.

Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, hasresponded tabling an Early Day Motion in support of the Fuel PovertyCharter for Wales, calling on the Westminster and Assembly government toimplement measures that will eradicate fuel poverty in Wales by 2018, inline with their stated policy.

"These figures are a national disgrace and are a direct result ofLabour's complete failure to combat fuel poverty.

"Fuel poverty is becoming one of Labour's biggest failures. Why doBritish winters result in so many more winter deaths than many otherEuropean countries who face much colder weather?

"In a civilized society, old and vulnerable people should not have toworry about whether or not they can afford to heat their homes.

"With fuel bills threatening to wipe out the winter fuel payment, it istime for the Government to force energy suppliers to pass on lowerwholesale energy prices in the form of reduced bills."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Below is the text of the Early Day Motion that Jenny is tabling today inParliament:

ERADICATE FUEL POVERTY IN WALES

That this house is deeply concerned that fuel poverty now affects320,000 Welsh households, 90,000 more than last year; is shocked thatthe number of excess winter deaths in Wales rose by 67% between 2007/08to 2008/09; notes that the target to eradicate fuel poverty amongstvulnerable groups will be missed; believes that the target to eradicatefuel poverty in Wales by 2018 will be missed unless efforts aresubstantially improved; fully supports the Fuel Poverty Charter forWales and calls on the Assembly and Westminster Government to implementthe Charter's proposals in full so that Wales can be set on the path toeradicate fuel poverty once and for all.

Details of the Fuel Poverty Charter for Wales can be found here.

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