Commenting on what the energy price cap rise means for people over 65, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“With 2.1 million people over 65 living in poverty, these rocketing prices will bring more anxiety and despair as they struggle to pay their bills and stay warm, fed and healthy.
“For older people who are living on a fixed income, often with little if any savings, the extra money simply isn’t there.
“While we welcome the energy and council tax rebates announced today as an acknowledgment of the action that is needed, without additional support this will likely still not be enough to help those older people who are being hardest hit by the increase.
“This devastating rise means more older people will have to make impossible decisions about what to cut back on. We’ve heard from one woman who told us she will have to use a foodbank because she can't afford to heat her home and buy food.
“With the cost of living rising sharply, the State Pension triple lock being suspended for a year and a lack of urgent action from the government to increase uptake on essential benefits like Pension Credit, people in later life are being hit from every angle.
“This all comes at a time when pensioner poverty is at its highest level since 2008. And new research commissioned by Independent Age shows that many people in later life hover precariously above the poverty line – 4 in 10 older people spent at least one year in poverty in a nine-year period.
“It is vital the government does everything it can to ensure older people are supported financially. Alongside this immediate response, the government must accelerate longer-term solutions, including making sure people are aware of and can easily access the support they are entitled to, like Pension Credit. Otherwise, thousands more older people will be forced to cut back on essentials like food or heating and risk their health in the process.”