The UK and Welsh Governments must intervene to protect terminally ill people from spiraling energy bills
Natasha Wynne, Marie Curie Policy and Research Manager in Wales
It is harrowing and frightening that according to latest research by the University of York, 69% of households in Wales are expected to be in fuel poverty in January next year.
Wales will be among the hardest hit of the nations and regions of the UK, with 68.7% of households trapped in fuel poverty, compared to the UK average of 65.8%.
London will see the least impact, but even there over half – 56.4% – will be in fuel poverty by January.
Overall, an estimated 45 million people across the UK will be forced into fuel poverty and struggle to pay energy bills this winter, the research found.
Rocketing fuel prices are worrying for all – pensioners, families, working age adults. But the stress about not being able to keep warm at home this winter will be felt acutely by terminally ill people.
They are at heightened risk of experiencing fuel poverty, as their symptoms will often make them feel colder and they will spend increasing amounts of time at home with the heating on as their condition deteriorates.
Shockingly, living in a house that is cold and damp can worsen symptoms and even hasten a terminally ill person’s death.
The UK and Welsh Governments must take immediate action and provide terminally ill people with targeted financial support for the continually rising costs of energy bills.
We need to see Welsh Government working with their counterparts in Westminster to ensure that everyone with a terminal illness in Wales is eligible for Winter Fuel Payments, regardless of their age.
We are also calling on Welsh Government to extend its Warm Homes scheme so that terminally ill people are explicitly included, and to do more to ensure that dying people and their families know about and can access the benefits they are entitled to at a time when they are very likely overwhelmed and vulnerable.
As we approach autumn with the cost of living spiralling out of control, it’s vitally urgent that politicians and decision makers join forces to tackle the growing cost of living and cost of dying crises facing our nation.”
You can help Marie Curie’s Dying in Poverty campaign, which calls for access to the State Pension for terminally ill people, support with fuel bill and childcare costs.
Sign the petition here……….
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