Pensioner groups are demanding urgent measures to cut the cost of heat and light after official figures revealed a surge in deaths last winter. There were some 34,300 so-called ‘excess’ deaths during the cold months, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The figure equates to 11 pensioners dying every hour and represents a rise of 39.5 per cent – 9,720 – on the year before.
Many of these relate to health conditions made worse by cold temperatures, such as respiratory diseases.
The total number of excess deaths of 34,300 relates to England and Wales and was the second highest in the past five years. It appears to be have been fuelled by a rise in flu infections.
The figure was a higher 43,850, in 2014/15 when the country was hit by a particularly virulent form of flu.
The ONS figures relate to the number of additional deaths between December and March compared to the average per month for the rest of the year. […]
Research by the price comparison website, Energyhelpine, claims that UK families are now paying the highest energy prices in history – 33per cent higher than six years ago.
Co-founder, Mark Todd, said: ‘With real wages falling, the decision whether to heat or eat is back on the table for at least a million families.’