The news that the government intends to continue implementing Cold Weather Payments at the rate of £25 for the coming winter months has been welcomed by Age Concern and Help the Aged as a positive step for older people who may have trouble paying their bills.
Head of public affairs with the charities Patrick South commented that “this extra money will bring some relief to older people who are worried about how they will pay their fuel bills if we have another cold winter”.
The move may be particularly appreciated by those struggling with debt management problems and who need extra help in meeting costs.
However, Mr South went on to observe that although these measures are helpful in the short term, a more wide-ranging strategy from the government needs to be implemented to bring an end to fuel poverty.
His comments follow recent research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, commissioned by Age Concern and Help the Aged, which revealed that poorer pensioners are reducing their fuel usage to save money, although spending on energy bills has increased due to price hikes.
By Sarah Adie