Pensioners ‘trying to save by turning down heat’

Older people who are trying to save money by using their heating less are finding that they have to spend more due to price hikes, new research has revealed.

According to data compiled by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, commissioned by Age Concern and Help the Aged, poorer pensioners have reduced their fuel usage by seven per cent although spending on energy bills has increased by almost a third – suggesting that falling into debt could be an issue for some.

Head of public policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged Andrew Harrop remarked upon the differences in the standard of living between older people at varying ends of the income spectrum, as the poorest spend almost 40 per cent of their budget on food and fuel.

“Not only does this demonstrate the problem of soaring energy costs in recent times, but is a warning … that vulnerable older people could be putting their health at risk in winter just to cut costs,” he said.

Previous research by ClearDebt revealed that the typical retiree has almost £25,000 worth of debt and owes 234 per cent of their income.

By Sarah Adie


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