What does it say about the country when your gran is taking to the streets so she doesn’t freeze to death? Pensioners held a protest on Thursday demanding action on excess winter deaths as record energy bills and poor housing conditions threaten the lives of the most vulnerable.
Protesters organised by the National Pensioners’ Convention, Fuel Poverty Action, and Disabled People Against Cuts held a minute’s silence to coincide with the release of excess deaths statistics.
Labour MP John McDonnell addressed crowds, while campaigners carried a coffin bearing the latest excess deaths figure to Downing Street.
Stuart Bretherton, of Fuel Poverty Action, and an Energy For All campaign coordinator, said: “In the world’s sixth richest economy and one of Europe’s largest producers of oil and gas, failing to meet people’s basic energy needs is a political choice. Energy For All is a proposal for a system that works for people and the planet, not profiteers or polluters.
“The polar opposite of this is struggling people having their homes broken into, or meters switched remotely without warning, to a method of payment that could prevent them from heating their home this winter.”
Over 35,000 more people died than expected in the last six months of 2022, a figure near the highest level in 70 years.