GMB: Liz Truss ‘backs down’ on power rationing exclusion
Silver Voices said older people are most at risk from the cold and warned turning on the heater was a matter of survival rather than comfort.
More than eight in ten seniors have already cut back on shopping and heating and almost all say the financial support on offer is not enough to get through the winter, a survey shows.
Silver Voices director Dennis Reed called for April’s triple-lock increase to be brought forward to this month.
He said: “As Parliament reconvenes, politicians should be aware that the energy cost crisis is not over when it comes to older people.
“There is huge concern about winter coming. Older generations are much more likely to be home all day and a cold house makes existing medical conditions worse.
“Many older people have energy-hungry medical and safety equipment that is essential to maintaining their well-being.”
Liz Truss urged to take action to reduce retirees’ energy bills
Silver Voices surveyed 600 members and 70% say they will struggle to pay their energy bills this winter.
The triple lock is reinstated in the new financial year, which means an exceptional increase of around 10% is expected in payments to match the surge in inflation.
Almost all of the seniors surveyed want the increase to be brought forward to this month.
Mr Reed added: ‘Older people were not mentioned in the mini budget and our issues need to be high on the political agenda.
“We have been promised that the triple lockdown increase will be implemented this year, but it will not come into effect until next April.
“It would be a big help if the increase was applied and backdated to October 1, otherwise this winter could be the last for thousands of our contemporaries.”
The difference in typical energy bills under the Energy Price Guarantee
Last month, Prime Minister Liz Truss announced an energy price guarantee that caps the unit cost to prevent bills from rising to unprecedented levels.
Instead of the £6,000 predicted by experts, costs are now expected to reach around £2,500 for the typical family.
All households will also get £400 off their energy bills over this winter.
A pensioner cost of living payment of £300 is due in November for anyone entitled to Winter Fuel Allowance.
Lord Foulkes, co-chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Older People, warned of a difficult winter ahead.
He said: “Older people, especially those on basic pensions, now face a triple whammy, so the triple lockdown will come too late to save them from the dangers of malnutrition, hypothermia and loneliness.
‘There needs to be another U-turn from Liz Truss now, this time to forego welfare benefits and agree a substantial increase which the Chancellor can announce in her budget on October 31.’
Cabinet Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe insisted the support offered by the Government had brought “relief” to worried billpayers.
She said: “While early estimates suggested our package could have cost up to £160billion, the most recent estimates are much lower. But the key point is that we are giving relief and confidence to a large part of the British people, which will particularly matter for those at the bottom of the scale.
The government is stepping up its campaign to raise awareness of the support available to cope with cost of living pressures.
Downing Street said the Help For Households website will also include ways to find advice on energy saving measures.
But despite the government subsidizing energy bills, No 10 rejected suggestions that it should explicitly tell people to use less gas and electricity, even if it means some households continue to use items such as hot tubs in times of system strain.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: ‘The Prime Minister’s view is that the role of government in this is to ensure that we provide a level of support so that these global factors do not have a negative impact. unfair impact on the public.
“It is up to individuals to decide what is right for them, with all the information provided to them through things like the Help For Households site.”
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the cost of subsidizing gas and electricity bills would have to be partly covered by energy companies.
He said: ‘We need a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to pay or help pay for the energy price freeze.
Meanwhile, Downing Street said plans to restrict the installation of solar panels on productive farmland are under consideration.
No 10 said that as well as facing an energy security problem, the country also faced a “food security problem” and a “right balance” needed to be struck.
A government spokesperson said: ‘We recognize the pressures pensioners are facing and all pensioner households will receive £300 to help cover the rising cost of energy this winter, with people benefiting from the pension credit. pension receiving an additional payment of £650 for cost of living.
“This is on top of paying for winter fuel, a £400 cut on their energy bills and our new energy price guarantee saving households an average of £1,000 a year.
“This year we will spend over £110billion on the state pension and the full annual basic state pension is now over £2,300 higher than in 2010, at £400,000. fewer pensioners in absolute poverty after housing costs in 2020/21 than in 2009/10. »