An estimated 43,900 excess winter deaths occurred in England and Wales in 2014/15; the highest number since 1999/00, with 27% more people dying in the winter months compared with the non-winter months.
Those people in the country who seem to believe that the annual winter fuel allowance for pensioners should be scrapped need to take heed.
Perhaps it should be generously means-tested so that it is no longer payable to people such as Lord Sugar who does not need it and gives it to charity.
Where they would draw the cut-off point is important but scrapping it should not be an issue. Pensions in the U.K. are the least generous in Europe.
What point is there is fighting to protect our Britishness if part of that includes letting the poorest and most vulnerable in society down, time and time again?
The winter fuel allowance was cut once but surely it should have increased since it was introduced in 1997, by the incoming Labour government. It was and still is £200 for over-62s, rising to £300 for over-80s but that is a single rate. [A couple would still receive the £200]
In 2011 George Osborne did not renew a winter fuel top-up introduced by labour, which cost the elderly £100 each. [The winter fuel payment had been worth £250 for the over-60s and £400 for the over-80s-the age changed in line with an increased retirement age]
Daily Mirror January 2012 - Fuel poverty kills more people than road accidents
Chancellor Osborne managed to insult the people of Scotland and the leading political party of that country the SNP. What he said may have more than a ring of truth to it but the childish, almost gloating come petulant way, he delivered the low punch left a bad taste in the mouth.
Osborne claimed that oil revenues are less than expected and if Scotland had become independent in 2014 the SNP would have been forced to impose tough austerity measures.
George completed yet another U Turn this time on child tax credits which will now be left unchanged until at least 2020.
But with promises of money for the military, the NHS and more he has either given up on austerity, or it was always a lie or the devil will be in the detail and that is where people will be hit.
The Guardian report titled "Spending review 2015: things you may have missed in the small print" begins by saying "Not all of the tax credit cuts announced in the summer are being abandoned. The Treasury is still going ahead with a cut to the “income rise disregard” – the amount of extra money a tax credit claimant can earn before losing benefits. In July, George Osborne announced that this was being cut from £5,000 to £2,500. That cut still applies, and it raises £170m."
Spending Review 2015: The Key Points - Sky News