UK could face public health ‘crisis’ from energy bill hike

Aug 19, 2022, 6:35 AM | Updated: 6:45 am

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s public health leaders appealed to the government on Friday to urgently tackle soaring energy prices, warning that the steep rise in household bills will lead to more people falling sick and increase the number of annual deaths linked with cold homes.

In a letter sent to government officials, the National Health Service Confederation said surging costs mean many people will have to choose between skipping meals to heat their homes or living in cold and damp conditions this winter.

The group’s chief executive Matthew Taylor said health leaders took the step to make an “unprecedented intervention” and write to the government because the U.K. was “facing a humanitarian crisis” due to the public health risks linked to rising fuel costs.

The average U.K. household fuel bill has risen more than 50% so far in 2022 as Russia’s war in Ukraine squeezes global oil and natural gas supplies. A further increase is due in October, when the average bill is forecast to hit 3,500 pounds ($4,300) a year. Official figures this week showed that U.K. inflation hit a new 40-year high of 10.1% in July.

Taylor said inability to heat homes and afford food will “lead to outbreaks of illness and sickness around the country and widen health inequalities, worsen children’s life chances, and leave an indelible scar on local communities.”

He warned that this will compound pressure on hospitals and public health services, which are already under stress and are bracing for a difficult winter.

“Health leaders are clear that, unless urgent action is taken by the government, this will cause a public health emergency,” he said.

The government has faced widespread calls to freeze bills or help people with their finances, but ministers have said no action will be taken until the Conservative Party selects a new prime minister to replace Boris Johnson. The winner of the Conservative leadership contest will be announced on Sept. 5.

Authorities say they have set aside billions of pounds to support people in need with state subsidies. Most households will also receive 400 pounds ($474) over the winter to help with energy bills.

The NHS Confederation said this is not enough and more needs to be done to help those who cannot cope with energy bills rising by some 80%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Registrar Kristen Schmidt takes stock of the painting "Seated Man" by Elaine de Kooning, wife of Wi...
Associated Press

Arizona museum exhibit marks end to de Kooning painting saga

Nobody could have predicted a Willem de Kooning painting stolen in 1985would find its way back to an Arizona museum.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies at age 59

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coolio, the rapper who was among hip-hop’s biggest names of the 1990s with hits including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” died Wednesday at age 59, his manager said. Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died at the Los Angeles home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told […]
19 hours ago
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris waves next to Lt. Gen. Ricky N. Rupp, commander of the U.S. Air F...
Associated Press

VP Harris to visit DMZ after North Korean missile tests

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is capping her four-day trip to Asia with a stop at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean Peninsula as she tries to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to the security of its Asian allies. The visit on Thursday comes on the heels of North […]
19 hours ago
Curious sightseers walk in the receding waters of Tampa Bay due to the low tide and tremendous wind...
Associated Press

Experts: Negative storm surge in Tampa Bay as Ian approached

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Water drained from Tampa Bay on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian approached Florida’s Gulf Coast. The storm eventually made landfall near Fort Myers, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) to the south. A number of people posted photos on social media of themselves and others walking out onto the silty and sandy bay […]
19 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge (99) flies out, next to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen during...
Associated Press

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, going deep for the New York Yankees against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night. The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence in the […]
19 hours ago
Registrar Kristen Schmidt takes stock of the painting "Seated Man" by Elaine de Kooning, wife of Wi...
Associated Press

Arizona museum exhibit marks end to de Kooning painting saga

PHOENIX (AP) — After a Willem de Kooning painting worth millions was brazenly stolen in 1985 from an Arizona museum, the staff clung to the hope that it would turn up one day. But nobody could have predicted “Woman-Ochre” would find its way back through the kindness of strangers in a neighboring state. “I would […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
UK could face public health ‘crisis’ from energy bill hike