The WHO (World Health Organisation) has just recently published a study in which it says that it is "shocked" by the fact that some 17% of households in Ireland are "fuel poor". The actual words used were: "It is shocking that in an economically rich country such as the Republic of Ireland, a remarkable 17 per cent of households are fuel poor"
It defined fuel poverty as “an inability to heat one's home to an adequate temperature due to low household income and low energy efficiency”. It also said that; “fuel poverty had a negative effect on health and was "very socially patterned” (tell us something we don't know)
The report is titled, "Closing the Gap in a Generation - Health Equity through Action on the Social Determinants of Health" . It can be read or downloaded at the following link.
No Surprise or Shock here!
Now that WHO report does not surprise or shock me not in the least. Why so - do I hear you asking?? It is because the “Celtic Tiger” benefited ONLY the better off and in fact widened the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.
Government policies on wage rises etc. and on allowing the “run away” economy built on the sand foundation of a housing boom, has also further deepened the gap.
Oh dear - What can we do?
The band strikes up a marching tune - and the government say; - "So what to do??? Oh set up an enquiry – appoint some experts – pay out millions for a report which when ready - in two years time - will be quietly shelved – Oh Yes – that sounds about right".