Published on 04 February 2014 02:00 PM
‘No person should have to choose between heating and eating’ – Mike Hedges AM
Welsh Assembly Members will be discussing the problem of older people in Wales not being able to afford to heat their homes this Wednesday (5 February).
The Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing is meeting just after midday (12.15pm) in conference room 24 at Tŷ Hywel in Cardiff Bay.
Commenting on the ‘Fuel Poverty and Older People’ debate, Mike Hedges AM, Chair of the Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing, says:
“It’s my belief that in any civilized society, no person should have to face a choice between affording food and paying to keep warm.
“Unfortunately, with the cost of living rising and with fuel bills skyrocketing, many people, particularly the older and vulnerable, are struggling to cope.
“This week’s Cross Party Group meeting will give us the chance to discuss the help and support that is already available to older people with their energy costs, as well as look at what else can be done to help tackle fuel poverty within our communities.”
Graeme Francis, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Age Cymru, which support the Cross Party Group on Older People, comments:
“We know that fuel poverty is a major challenge for many older people across Wales. Figures from last winter show that 1,700 people over the age of 65 died from cold-related conditions.
“Every one of these deaths is preventable and we must take decisive action to stop people suffering the cold because they cannot adequately heat their homes.
“The Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing will be exploring how we can do more in Wales to help people to keep warm and safe during the winter months.”
Speakers at the meeting are Carole Morgan-Jones of NEA Cymru, who is Co-Chair of the Fuel Poverty Coalition Cymru, and Lee Parry of British Gas who is responsible for running the Welsh Government-funded fuel poverty scheme.
They will give presentations outlining the scale of fuel poverty in Wales, the campaigning calls of the Fuel Poverty Coalition Cymru, and how the Nest scheme has been supporting older people in Wales to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
Members of the group will also have the opportunity to ask the guest speakers questions.