Commenting on the plan announced today to help people with rising energy bills, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“Today’s announcement will provide some much-needed breathing space to older people struggling with their energy bills. Before today’s announcement callers to the Independent Age helpline were extremely anxious about their financial situation, with many being forced to cut back on both food and heating.
“But it is only one piece of the puzzle. Tough choices will still need to be made because sadly, rising energy bills are not the only major concern for those in later life. Food prices and other costs are skyrocketing which is also severely impacting millions of older people.
“Up to now the Government’s approach has been to wait until the situation is dire and only then to step in at the last minute. We fear until older people’s income is in line with living costs, it’s only a matter of time until the situation becomes unmanageable again for many.
“Research shows that before the cost of living crisis took hold, poverty among older people was rising, with 2.1 million people aged 65 and over living in poverty. This number will now be higher. We are not out of the woods yet, and we won’t be until all older people can live with financial security.
“More must be done to support older people living in, or on the edge of, poverty. The critical thing in the next two years is that the triple lock must be maintained and uprated with inflation, alongside the uprating of Pension Credit.”