Energy crisis; why Ministers must act now as heating bills soar and leave elderly at risk – The Yorkshire Post says

“THE elderly will struggle to survive through the winter as their heating bills rocket. It is time for a national emergency plan to help them survive the tough times ahead.”

Tory peer Ros Altmann has called for a "national emergency plan" over soaring energy prices as peers prepare to debate the cost of living crisis in a debate instigated by former Yorkshire MP Anne McIntosh.
Tory peer Ros Altmann has called for a "national emergency plan" over soaring energy prices as peers prepare to debate the cost of living crisis in a debate instigated by former Yorkshire MP Anne McIntosh.

Strong words of warning for any politician to assert, this call-to-arms has added credence because it comes from Tory peer Ros Altmann, a former pensions minister.

She knows that the current cost of living crisis, fuelled in part by soaring wholesale prices that have seen tens of energy suppliers go out of business, will, tragically and shamefully, claim even more lives this winter than the 25,000-plus deaths attributed to cold weather each year.

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And, like her colleague Anne McIntosh, who is leading a House of Lords debate on the issue, Baroness Altmann fears that Ministers are in full denial about the issue.

Tory peer Ros Altmann has called for a "national emergency plan" over soaring energy prices as peers prepare to debate the cost of living crisis in a debate instigated by former Yorkshire MP Anne McIntosh.

Now there are no easy solutions because it was not foreseen that the energy price cap would succumb to the surge in global prices that has taken place in the aftermath of Covid.

But today’s debate is a starting point and Baroness Altmann has already suggested a number of tweaks to existing allowances paid to OAPs so the most vulnerable pensioners don’t have to choose between heating and eating – the most invidious of choices.

And while Ministers and officials grapple with an issue that is far more complicated than Labour politicians make out, it’s also important to come up with a national plan to improve the insulation of homes occupied by the most vulnerable.

Nearly a decade after Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis started pressing David Cameron, the then premier, on this issue, progress is still elusive.

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