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Minister should resign over winter deaths





 Every year, tens of thousands of older people die of coldrelated illnesses, and yet it barely makes the headlines © NPC T he NPC has called on the Energy Minister, Claire Perry MP to resign following news that the scale of winter deaths among the country’s older population reached the highest figure since 1975/76.


Official figures show an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales between December 2017 and March 2018.


This equates to 417 deaths a day or 17 deaths an hour. During the winter months of 2017 to 2018, the number of daily deaths exceeded the daily five-year average for all days except 25 March.


The figures also showed that excess winter mortality in 2017 to 2018 significantly increased from 2016 to 2017 in all English regions and Wales, and those affected the most were females and people aged 85 and over.


Jan Shortt, NPC general secretary said: “Successive governments have simply ignored the problem of winter deaths amongst the older population and seem to have a policy of crossing their fingers and hoping things will improve.”


“These figures show this policy simply doesn’t work – and things are now the worst they’ve been for over 40 years.”


“It’s time someone took responsibility and that has to lie with the Energy Minister,” she added.


At least 1.4 million older people are already in fuel poverty, and almost one in three live in homes with inadequate heating or insulation making their homes more difficult to heat or keep warm.


The key to tackling winter deaths is to make sure older people have got a wellinsulated, warm home and the income needed to pay the fuel bills.


This is a basic requirement of what a decent society should do.

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