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Pensioners dying unnecessarily from fuel poverty

27 March, 2015 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has said he is not surprised by the figures provided by Age Sector Platform that 2,390 pensioners have died as a result of conditions related to fuel poverty over the past four years.

 Mr McMullan said,

 “Nearly 600 pensioners are dying needlessly each year due to conditions related to fuel poverty yet the Tory Government refused to extend the Warm Home Discount to the North.

 “This payment of £140 would go a long way to helping pensioners meet the cost of heating their homes during the coldest months of the year.

 “I have no doubt pensioners are choosing between eating or heating which is adding to their health issues causing early deaths.

 “We also need to have the supply of natural gas extended to all areas of the North giving pensioners a cheaper option than oil or electricity provide at the minute.

 “This extension of mains gas should no longer be deferred on the basis that it is not economically valuable to the supplier as everyone should have access to the cheapest fuels available.

 “I am calling on landlords and on social housing providers to embark on a scheme which will make pensioners’ home energy efficient so they spend less on remaining warm during cold periods.”

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