Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I welcome the fact that the Cold Weather Payments Bill, which seeks to reform inconsistencies in the cold weather payments system, has been introduced in the House of Commons by Welsh MP Hywel Williams and has received cross-party support.
“Every year in Wales there are large numbers of avoidable winter deaths (over 1,800 according to the most recent figures) as a result of the cold weather, and older people who are struggling financially are often forced to choose whether to heat their homes or eat.
“Under the current cold weather payments system, older people are at risk of missing out on vital financial support during periods of sustained cold weather, as a result of the mechanisms used to decide whether a cold weather payment can be made.
“If passed, the proposed legislation would ensure that the ways this issue could be addressed will be examined, which would be a positive step forward.”