Aldous congratulates Suffolk Foundation for Surviving Winter campaign

Peter Aldous MP for Waveney yesterday congratulated the work of the Suffolk Foundation for the success of its Surviving Winter campaign.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Aldous made the case directly to the Prime Minister about the serious impact of the cold weather on pensioners. He has expressed his concern that recent price rises along with the arrival of cold and often freezing temperatures in the UK could leave many households struggling to afford their energy costs.

Last winter, The Suffolk Foundation launched the first Surviving Winter Appeal in Suffolk, with the aim of alleviating fuel poverty among the vulnerable and older population throughout the county. The aim of the appeal was to encourage those that could forgo their Winter Fuel Payment to donate either part or all of it to the Surviving Winter fund.

With rising fuel bills and the prospect of another cold winter, older and vulnerable people are at risk. Over the past three winters, there have been on average 454 excess winter deaths in Suffolk each year. The vast majority of these deaths are people aged over 65. In addition, over 56,000 households in Suffolk are experiencing fuel poverty.

Last year, a total of 250 grants, with each totalling around £250, were donated to those in need by the Suffolk Foundation. These grants went a long way in helping older people in Suffolk keep warm throughout the winter, contributing towards the cost of heating their homes. Some grants were also used to buy additional mobile heaters and others helped to cover the cost of repairing old heating systems.

Mr Aldous said:

“The Surviving Winter campaign is an extremely worthwhile initiative that offers essential, tangible help to the most vulnerable in the Waveney area who have the most difficulty making ends meet. The Suffolk Foundation is doing an excellent job of carrying out the campaign’s work in the local community, and it is reassuring to see that those who can afford to make a donation do so – please support this year’s appeal and help raise more money for those suffering fuel poverty.”

FULL TEXT:

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): Will the Prime Minister tell the House what the Government are doing to keep pensioners warm in this cold weather and will he join me in congratulating the Suffolk Foundation for the great success of its “surviving winter” campaign?

The Prime Minister: This Government have given the biggest increase in the basic state pension—an increase of £5.30 a week last year. We have kept the winter fuel payments, we have kept the cold weather payments at the higher level and we are replacing the Warm Front scheme with the energy company obligation, or ECO. Although the Warm Front scheme helped some 80,000 houses a year, the ECO could help up to 230,000 houses a year. That is what we are doing, that is how we are helping old people, and it is a record we should be proud of.

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