John Palmer, Director of Policy and Communications at Independent Age, said:
“Today’s Budget may have given the impression that all older people are financially secure. This is simply not true. We speak to older people every day who are skipping meals and are terrified to turn on their heating. They need reassurance beyond the next three months.
“The continuation of the Energy Price Guarantee will come as a temporary relief for some, however even if energy prices fall as forecast in the summer, they are still predicted to be almost 70% more than winter last year. This is unmanageably expensive for many and the Government must prioritise a long-term solution to poverty in later life.
“We know that the 2.1 million older people in poverty will still be forced to make dangerous choices to pay for their soaring energy, food and housing costs. According to the latest reliable statistics, up to 850,000 of the poorest older households are still missing out on the Pension Credit they’re entitled to.
“The Government should act now to create an uptake strategy for this vital benefit. On top of an extra weekly income, older people who are entitled to, but don’t receive Pension Credit, have already missed out on the £650 Cost of Living payment last year, and stand to miss out on an extra £900 in the coming year. Older people in financial hardship need solutions to help them, because no one should have to face a later life in poverty in today’s society.”