Struggling households could see their energy bills reach unprecedented levels and not be able to afford them – potentially leading to more than 10,000 dying from the cold, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor warned. The dire warning comes as the energy regulator Ofgem could set the new price cap on energy bills at £3,576 per year, according to energy consultancy Auxilione – the cap is currently at £1,971. Ofgem is set to announce the price cap next week.
Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Taylor said: “What our leaders have said to us very clearly is that they already see out in the community and in terms of our own low-paid staff in the health and care systems a growing problem of people not being able to pay their bills.
“We know from research that a high proportion of people say that they’re not going to be able to pay energy bills.
“And that means that people will turn off the heating in their homes.
“And even in an ordinary year, it’s estimated that around 10,000 people die as a consequence.”
He added: “But that figure could be massively higher this year because we have this huge problem.
“Now, I absolutely recognise that the Government faces a set of enviable choices.
“But it is our responsibility just to be clear about what more people in fuel poverty will mean for the health service and the services available for the rest of it.”
One of the two Conservative leadership candidates – Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – will soon face the issue once one of them comes into power on September 6.
READ MORE: DWP cost of living payments: Full list of when households will be paid