• November 5, 2015


Last week the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which has co-signed the ‘sweetheart’ deal which allows Manx Gas to charge consumers just about what it wants, told us:

‘One of the three key priorities of the current administration is to “Protect the Vulnerable” and the Council of Ministers and all Departments and Statutory Boards have this high on their agendas’

Well how high is ‘high’?

In the United Kingdom ‘protecting the vulnerable’ has not been noted as a high priority of the UK Conservative government but since 2010 the UK government and health authorities have taken the issue of excess deaths caused by winter cold seriously.

Check this from an Office of National Statistcs report:

“In the 2009 annual report from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, it was noted that, although excess winter deaths (EWDs) have declined over the last 50 years, the number was still too high (Donaldson, 2010). The CMO argued that many of these deaths were preventable and that more needed to be done to protect vulnerable people during cold winter months.

“This prompted the Government to develop an annual Cold Weather Plan for England, which has been published yearly since November 2011. Public Health England (PHE) published the 2014 edition in October 2014 in partnership with NHS England, the Local Government Association and the Met Office. The Cold Weather Plan aims to prevent avoidable harm to health by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather. This should enable them to prepare and respond appropriately, and help to reduce the number of excess winter deaths. The plan sets out a series of actions to be taken by the NHS, social care and other agencies throughout the year, and in response to forecast or actual severe winter weather. It also encourages local communities to support the most vulnerable in their area, such as checking on them during severe weather and offering other support. The Met Office issues Cold Weather Alerts from 1 November 2014 to 31 March 2015 to support the Cold Weather Plan (Public Health England, 2014d).

“The Keep Warm Keep Well booklet provides advice on staying well during cold weather, for example healthy lifestyle, heating, flu vaccinations, and making sure that people know about all the benefits and services to which they are entitled (Public Health England, 2014e) The UK government has introduced the ‘green deal’ project, whereby householders can have improvement work carried out on heating and home insulation, paid back through savings in energy”.

Note the word ‘heating’ in the last paragraph something here people on gas supply and on low middle incomes are going to be loath to turn on.

In recent weeks the UK have been running a series of adverts alerting people to risk, warning them what to do and advising what help they can get.

Meanwhile in the Isle of Man nothing! In fact the government’s official reaction to the Manx Gas hike is to critics those expressing concern. The OFT responding again on behalf of the Chief Minister said:

“The problem is that the cause of that fear is not a price increase for gas, because there simply is no overall increase, but rather the noise around the issue, where people are projecting that there is a gas price increase because they are ill-informed or for political gain.”

Never thought I would see the day a ‘caring’ Conservative government and a ‘couldn’t care less Manx government’!
Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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