Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government needs to Target Provision for the Elderly

16 November, 2004

Speaking at the launch of a campaign by Help the Aged at Stormont today, Sinn Féin health spokesperson John O' Dowd MLA, said:

"The levels of winter deaths and illnesses amongst the elderly need to be urgently addressed. Almost 1,500 elderly people will die this winter across the Six Counties. That is a very frightening and totally unacceptable statistic.

"Fuel poverty and poorly insulated homes are major contributors to winter deaths in the Six Counties where there are too many older people living in a situation of fuel poverty.

"It is my belief believe that the government's strategy for tackling the underlying causes of excess winter deaths is failing to reach those most in need, and that government schemes to tackle fuel poverty are in urgent need of reform.

"This belief is backed up by an NOP World survey of people over 65 years on low income which shows that two out of three have not heard of these schemes aimed at them to tackle fuel poverty and excess winter deaths." ENDS

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