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Report warns on fuel poor deaths

Thousands of people die each year from illnesses linked to fuel poverty, according to an independent report.

Professor John Hills has called for a new definition of the problem, which focuses on people with low incomes driven into poverty by high fuel bills.

His report found that in 2004, fuel-poor households faced a shortfall of £256 to heat their homes and avoid poverty, but in 2009 it was £402.

Recent bill increases may make the problem worse this year, he warned.

Our correspondent Simon Gompertz reports.

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