National Pensioners’ Convention members will protest outside Parliament on the coldest day this winter over the shocking cost of food and fuel.
As the mercury hovers just above zero this Thursday, 8th December the NPC will also be demanding to know why important ‘excess winter mortality’ rates – due to be announced on the same day – have been delayed for a second time.
The Office of National statistics had already pushed back the date of the publication of the annual ‘winter deaths’ figures from November to 8th December. They have again quietly moved the announcement of the figures - for 2021 to 2022 (provisional) and 2020 to 2021 (final) - to 19th January 2023.
NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: “In the middle of a devastating cost of living crisis which is forcing millions of older people to choose between eating and heating, it is vitally important that we know how many are falling victim to cold living conditions caused by fuel poverty in England and Wales.
12pm, Thursday, 8th December
George V Statue, Old Palace Yard, Westminster
NPC Westminster Demo Asks...
Why are key Winter Deaths stats delayed again?
“With the government under fire for failing to adequately protect our oldest and most vulnerable from cold and hunger, we are rightly suspicious of the reasons that the ONS – which needs government sign off to release the figures – has delayed the announcement yet again.
“We are writing to the ONS as a matter of urgency to ask them why?”
In ‘20-’21 there were 63,000 excess winter deaths driven by cold and covid - up two thirds on the previous year. The NPC fears the numbers dying from cold related illness in ‘21-22’ will be much higher.
Jan said: “As the largest campaigning organisation for older people in the UK, the NPC has a vested interest in challenging the causes of such excess winter deaths. The current cost of living crisis will not impact so much on this year’s figures, but may be an indicator for the year 2023 as older people struggle with extraordinarily high heating and other costs.
“No one should be dying from cold in this day and age. We know cold homes kill, and the effect of the cost-of-living crisis which has seen the worst drop in living standards since 1956, means millions cannot afford high heating bills. Older people need to heat their homes more than most because they are often at home more, or are in ill health. This means they generally have to pay more to keep their homes warm.
“The current Energy Price Guarentee will see the average household on a typical fuel bill pay £2,500 per year and is set to increase from April 2023 to £3,000. The measures the government are offering are simply not enough.”
*NPC London Region Demonstartion, 12pm, George V statue, Old Palace Yard, Westminister, London
Download the press release
As mentioned above the NPC has written to Sir Ian Diamond National, Statistician and Permanent Secretary & The National Statistician Team at the Office for National Statistics to query the reasoning for the delay in the release of the Excess Winter Mortality figures.
Download the letter
The NPC has also produced the below flyer about the delayed Excess Winter Mortality figures.
Download the flyer