Friday, October 12, 2012

A cold winter

During winter 2010-11 over 25,000 more people died in the UK compared with non-winter periods. Many of these deaths can be directly attributed to fuel poverty. Around four million households in the UK currently suffer from fuel poverty.

£8m profit every day but Scottish Gas bills are due to rise again. Millions of Scots face a winter of rising fuel bills, as the UK’s largest energy supplier is today expected to announce an inflation-busting increase for gas and electricity charges. A 9 per cent increase by Scottish and Southern Energy will come into effect on Monday next week, and other major suppliers have refused to rule out a similar rise.

Citizens Advice Scotland said it was growing increasingly concerned about low-income families this winter. Margaret Lynch, chief executive, said: “We know that at least one-third of Scots are already living in fuel poverty."

Robina Qureshi, of the charity Positive Action in Housing, said: “More and more people are just keeping their houses cold, and that has an impact on illness and their children’s health.”

Last winter, more than eight in ten households rationed their energy use because of cost.

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