Senator Paul Gavan
THE lockdown, and the need to remain at home during the cold weather is leading to both “energy poverty” and a mental health crisis.
That’s according to Limerick Senator Paul Gavan, whose Sinn Fein party commissioned a study outlining the real-life experiences of those who have to make the terrible choice of whether to heat or eat.
He said the results are “stark” and paint a picture of how difficult it is to stay warm.
“Many people either go cold or go hungry. More stay in bed all day. Almost half of respondents go without heat because of the cost, while two thirds found it difficult to afford fuel,” Mr Gavan revealed.
According to those surveyed, only a quarter said their heating keeps them warm through the winter.
He said while the most vulnerable are worst hit, symptoms of energy poverty are widespread.
It affects young families and older people, alongside those working and not working, renters and mortgage payers, the Castleconnell man wrote in a statement.