Posted: Wed 11th May 2022

Two million older households will be unable to cover their essential spending this year, warns Age UK

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Two million older households will have insufficient income to cover their essential spending this year, with almost half of these (960,000) living in poverty or just above the poverty line and/or in receipt of benefits, according to the latest analysis by Age UK.

The Charity estimates that the poorest older households will need to drastically increase the percentage of their net income spent on essential goods and services from 67% in 2021-22 to 79% in 2022-23 due to higher costs of living.

For older people, essential spending covers spending on housing, Council Tax, utility bills, food and drinks, communications in the home and transport.

The Charity says it is “deeply concerned that, for those living on low and modest incomes, there will be no wiggle room to meet other expenses – and the situation will be worse still for those with disabilities or ill-health who have higher energy needs.”

Age UK is calling for immediate UK Government action to help all those who need it.

It is calling for benefits and the State Pension to rise in line with inflation to help all those on a low income – irrespective of age – who are facing unprecedented hardship as prices soar.

It’s also calling for a one-off payment of £500 for those on the lowest incomes to mitigate the impact of energy price increases.

Recent ONS figures show the proportion of older people reporting an increase in their cost of living over the previous month has been steadily increasing since November 2021.

Around nine in 10 people aged 50 to 69 (90%) and 70 or over (89%) reported an increase in their cost of living over the previous month, when asked in March 2022.

This compares to around seven in 10 (71%) people of the same age reporting an increase in their cost of living over the previous month, when asked in November 2021.

Among those aged 70+ who reported an increase in their cost of living, the most common reasons given were rises in the price of food shopping (96%), gas or electricity bills (80%) and in the price of fuel (81%).

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:Our new analysis shows the brutal impact that rocketing prices are having on our older population and lays bare the desperate situation facing two million pensioners next year, if the UK Government fails to act.”

“I’m astonished that the bad news about prices keeps rolling in but the UK Government continues to sit on its hands, and from what we hear many older people are surprised and disappointed too. There must be more that Ministers can do to help.”

“Significant numbers of older people are already struggling, and the Bank of England was crystal clear last week that it’s only going to get worse in the months to come.”

“For older people on low fixed incomes, relying solely on their State Pension and benefits, it’s a terrifying prospect because there are simply no more cuts they can make.”

“They need concrete support now and without determined government intervention they are at risk of deep hardship like nothing we’ve seen in this country for many years.”

“That’s why we’re calling for the UK Government to urgently increase benefits and the State Pension in line with inflation to help all those on a low income – irrespective of age – who will otherwise be in deep trouble as prices continue to rise.”

“A one-off payment of £500 to those on the lowest incomes would also help enormously to mitigate the impact of energy price increases.”

 

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