UK faces ‘humanitarian crisis’ due to rising energy costs, health lobby says

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is facing a “humanitarian crisis” this winter. Soaring energy prices are forcing low-income households to make difficult choices, potentially causing serious physical and mental illness, health-care lobby groups said Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted calls to provide more help to households struggling with rising bills, insisting his government will leave major financial decisions to the next prime minister, who takes office in early September. did.

“The country is facing a humanitarian crisis,” said Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organizations across the health care sector.

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“Many people are faced with a terrible choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and living in cold, damp and extremely uncomfortable conditions,” Taylor said in a statement.

The situation could lead to outbreaks of respiratory and mental illness, worsening children’s life chances and putting pressure on the already expanding state-run National Health Service (NHS), he said. Added. read more

A UK Health Ministry spokeswoman said the government was already helping households through a £37 billion ($44 billion) cost of living assistance package announced in May and was also working to boost the capacity of the NHS. said.

The UK average annual household energy bill, which covers both gas and electricity, is set to double again to over £4,000 ($4,766) by January, exacerbating inflation that was already over 10% in July. Let

Faced with mounting pressure, the Johnson government last week said it was working on a cost-of-living assistance package for the incoming prime minister to consider, and the opposition Labor Party wants to convene parliament to freeze the energy bill. read

The NHS Confederation said it was concerned that “fuel poverty” would lead to more cold house-related deaths, currently estimated at around 10,000 a year, without further government support.

($1 = £0.8396)

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Reported by Sachin Ravikumar

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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