An action organised by Fuel Poverty Action, Disabled People Against Cuts and the Greater London Pensioners’ Association. Other organisations taking part include Single Mothers’ Self-Defence, Southwark Pensioners’ Action Group and WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities).
Meet Thursday 29th November at 11am outside the main entrance to the Treasury on Horse Guards Road, SW1A 2HQ, opposite St James’s Park (nearest accessible tube station, Westminster).
Speak out against cold homes, mammoth fuel bills and winter deaths! Demand that George Osborne lets us into The Toasty Treasury to keep warm!
Bring placards, banners, blankets, flasks and hot water bottles!
This week, the government will publish its controversial Energy Bill. What it’s hoping we won’t notice is that, on Thursday November 29th – the likely date of the Bill’s first reading – the human cost of its destructive energy policies will be revealed as figures on last year’s winter deaths are announced. Disabled people, as well as pensioners, mothers, children and others in low-income households will be among the worst affected.
Fuel poverty disproportionately affects disabled people, who are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-disabled people. Disabled people need to spend more on energy as they are more likely to spend time indoors with fewer opportunities to go out and access community facilities to keep warm. Some impairments are aggravated by cold, requiring homes to be heated at higher temperatures to avoid illness and hospital admissions.
Join Fuel Poverty Action, the Greater London Pensioners’ Association, Disabled People Against Cuts and others in fighting back. Over the past week, we’ve asked people across the country which Cold Homes Killer they want to target. The votes are now in and we can reveal that the target of our winter deaths action will be…THE TREASURY, home to George Osborne. We can’t afford to heat our homes, so we’ll be demanding that George Osborne lets us into The Toasty Treasury to keep warm.
We’re targeting George Osborne and The Treasury because they are directly responsible for deaths from cold homes. This is due, firstly, to their cuts to crucial lifelines like benefits, council housing and the Winter Fuel Allowance.
George Osborne and The Treasury are also responsible for winter deaths because of their role in secret Tory plots to lock us into decades of dependence on dirty and expensive gas power. While the Tories and media blame green energy, in fact, two-thirds of last year’s energy bill increases were due to the rising cost of gas. Meanwhile, the cost of renewable energy is quickly coming down.
We need to invest rapidly in renewable energy to bring down bills and avert the dangers of climate change, which is also a killer.Why is the government allowing the Big Six energy companies – British Gas (Centrica), EDF, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE – to push the cost of investment in new energy onto our energy bills, while their profits soar to record highs? The answer: the government are in bed with the energy companies and are prioritising their profits over our lives.
Join us in demanding no more cuts, no more dirty and expensive gas, no more mammoth fuel bills and no more winter deaths. Our alternative: let’s reclaim power through community-controlled renewable energy, distributed on the basis of need not private profit.
We are attempting to secure funds to subsidise people’s travel to the event. If you are in need of subsidised travel, please let us know in advance via the contact details below and we will try our best to help you.
If your group would like to publically support this event, please let us know.
It’s been a busy week for us all with a visit to London on Tuesday to go to the vigil about DLA reform outside the House of Lords called by Winvisible, Single Mothers Self defence and the Zaccharius Trust. This was a very cold day and when I left home there was thick frost on the ground, however it was very marginally warmer in London and good to see other disabled people we know at the vigil. Sadly as I’m sure you all know one-third of Labour Lords didn’t bother to turn up to vote on this vital part of the Welfare Reform Bill and scrapping DLA was passed by 16 votes.
The Welfare Reform Bill will shortly be leaving the Lords and going back to the Commons where amendments can still be made so next week and it still has to be voted through so please next week email your MP and ask them not to support this bill. Tell them how important things like DLA are for you and your lives. Explain how difficult it would be for you to move from your current home to one in a cheaper area as this bill also seeks to limit the total amount of benefit disabled people can get for living and housing costs to £250 a week if you’re single and to £500 a week for families.
Today we had the first protest of Leamington and Warwickshire DPAC outside the offices of Tory MP Chris White. In spite of continuous rain there were between 30-35 people there which is much higher than I’d hoped for. We couldn’t get to see Chris White and shortly before the protest began staff came out of the office and went away. We did however leave a letter for him and he has agreed to see me and some of his constituents at another time now.
Watch the Guardian video on the previous Welfare Reform protest 12th Jan
As the House of Lords debates amendments to the welfare reform bill, protesters from a range of welfare activist groups such as Single Mothers’ Self Defence, Mad Pride and Right to Work gathered outside to lobby members. They were joined by Labour MP John McDonnell, who called for ‘much more severe and serious opposition’ from the Labour party, in the hope that parts of the bill could be defeated if it comes back to the Commons