Older people looking to compare energy deals in order to get cheap gas may be interested to hear the issue of fuel poverty has been debated in parliament.
Opening the discussions in the House of Commons yesterday, Democratic Unionist Party member Nigel Dodds said urgent steps must be taken to ease the burden high energy bills place on retirees.
Referencing new winter death figures from the Office for National Statistics, he described the problem as a "national catastrophe" that affects the entire UK and must be tackled as a matter of urgency.
The numbers, released this week, revealed 25,700 more people than expected died in England and Wales last winter.
"Fuel poverty and the effects of cold weather on the elderly are a lethal combination," Mr Dodds continued, describing a motion for the government to review plans for the Winter Fuel Payment as a "life and death issue".
He was supported by several other members of the house, with Labour MP for Rotherham Denis MacShane observing the winter fuel allowance, which is not means tested, has become a generalised payment that is inadequate for meeting the needs of the poorest members of society.
Responding to the concerns of MPs on behalf of the government, minister of state at the Department for Work and Pensions Steve Webb explained the coalition has been forced to make choices with regards to cold weather payments, noting that increases to the allowance last year had always been planned as a one-off measure.
He stressed the government has taken steps to ensure the most vulnerable individuals are still able to obtain the help they need.
Mr Webb also highlighted the warm home discount that has been negotiated with the Big Six energy suppliers, which he said will "make a real contribution" by enabling 600,000 of the poorest pensioners to reduce their electricity bills by £120.
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