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Protest against ‘heat or eat’


fuel poverty, day of action#JusticeNotJumpers protestors to target energy companies on fuel poverty.

On 26 November, the day that Winter Death statistics are released, protestors will be taking action against price rises introduced by Npower and the other Big Six energy companies.

Last year there were 24,000 ‘excess winter deaths’ in England and Wales.

And according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) around 30 per cent of excess winter deaths can be attributed to cold indoor temperatures – which based on current figures means around 7,200 people died last year due to cold housing in the winter months.

And this year, as the Big Six energy companies hike up their prices we were told the only answer is to put on a jumper.

But millions of people will be forced to live in fuel poverty this winter, and families, pensioners and those with low incomes will have to choose between heating or eating.

The energy companies want us to believe that ‘green taxes’ are to blame, but the real problem is the privatisation of the UK’s energy for profit and the skyrocketing cost of dirty fossil fuels.

UK Uncut wants warm pensioners and a publicly-owned, tax paying, renewable energy system that isn’t wrecking peoples lives or the planet.

So gather your kids, neighbours, grandparents your warmest jumper and your latest energy bill and join anti-austerity groups, including Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Greater London Pensioners Association on their protest.

Acting together under the banner of ‘Bring down the Big Six – Fuel Poverty Kills!’ direct action groups will hold ‘an outrageous, creative and inclusive’ protest at the London office of the German energy giant Npower at midday on 26 November.

They will meet at 11.30am at Royal Exchange by Bank tube station and will march to Npower’s Supply and Trading Offices, at 60 Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8HP, to protest against winter deaths, price hikes and their devastation on the planet.

Npower is the UK’s most complained about energy company. It received 202 complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June – double those of its nearest rival EDF

Npower also increased its prices higher than any of the other Big Six this year at 9.3 per cent electricity and 11.1 per cent for gas.

Npower has also defended seeking a 5 per cent profit margin which is widely regarded as excessive.

Added to which, Npower has paid no corporation tax for the past 3 years despite reporting a 34 per cent profit rise of £413million last winter due to price hikes. Profit and price hikes as an estimated 300,000 people were pushed into fuel poverty.

Sarah Price of UK Uncut said: ‘The Big Six are an example of incredible corporate greed.

‘Huge profits are extracted from the public whilst they suffer at the hands of austerity.

‘David Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires are only too happy to stuff the pockets of big business while ordinary people are left out in the cold.

‘The combined wealth of cabinet ministers is £70 million and they will never feel the pain of those who can’t afford their energy bills this winter.

‘People must be put before profit, and with creative direct action, we will stand with the elderly, the poor and vulnerable to fight for our power.

‘Fuel Poverty must end.’

Joseph Murphy, of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: ‘Another harsh winter will mean more disabled people will find themselves isolated in their homes, unable to heat them, or cook properly.

‘Many don’t make it through.

‘Politicians and energy firms talk about ‘measures’ and ‘support’, which are only available to a very few.

‘The energy firms continue to sit in government departments writing energy policy, in buildings where the heating is paid for by the very people who will die of cold this winter.

‘This is a disgrace.’

For details of the event go to their Facebook page and follow it on @fuelpovaction and @ukuncut on Twitter.

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