Age UK Reacts to the Chancellor’s Package of the Support to Ease the Cost of Living Crisis

The rising cost of living, including soaring energy bills, has been a major concern for Age UK. We have been extremely concerned about the impact on older people on low and modest incomes, many of whom have faced the stark choice between heating or eating.

An extensive campaign that began with the Cost of Cold campaign and most recently saw the release of Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up report, has seen Age UK call for immediate Government financial support for those on low and modest incomes.

We are pleased and relieved that the Government has recognised the extreme risks soaring inflation pose to the health and welfare of pensioners, particularly those on low incomes, and has announced a package of measures on 26th May with the aim of mitigating them.

The package includes:

  • A £650 one off cost of living payment for means tested benefit recipients. The £650 will be split between the summer and autumn and should be delivered through the existing benefits system.
  • People in receipt of disability benefits will receive a disability cost of living payment of £150 in September.
  • The Chancellor has committed to reinstate the Triple Lock next year.
  • Pensioner households will receive a £300 one off increase to the Winter Fuel Payment this winter. People will be eligible for this payment if they are over State Pension age (aged 66 or above) between 19 – 25 September 2022.
  • The Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS), consisting of a £200 reduction to energy bills in October, will be doubled to £400. The Government have also proposed removing the repayment levy, meaning consumers will not have to pay the money back, providing all electricity customers in Britain with a reduction on their bills.
  • An additional £500 million for the Household Support Fund, effectively trebling the Scheme to £1.5 billion and extending it to this winter.

“With prices continuing to go up for everything they buy, life is certainly not going to be easy for many older people over the next few months, but the extra support the Chancellor is bringing forward will make a difference and will protect most from the worst of the unprecedented surge in the cost of living they face.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK

“Targeting most of the support on offer to pensioners who receive means-tested benefits, that is Pension Credit, was undoubtedly the right thing to do, but as a result it is more important than ever that every older person who qualifies receives their due. We know that some three quarters of a million are missing out at the moment, so we urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to put in a claim without delay.”

You can read Age UK’s full response to the Chancellor’s package of support here.

We have updated our guidance on the financial support for older people in response to rising energy prices here. We will have a briefing and analysis of the Chancellor’s announcement available soon too.

We would like to thank everyone across the network of locals Age UK who has been involved in organising and supporting our campaigning on the cost of living crisis. The support of local Age UKs is integral to raising awareness of this issue and ensuring the voices of older people are heard. We look forward to continuing our work with you and making sure older people are not left behind, especially ahead of the next increase in the energy price cap in October.

If you have any queries or want to know how to get involved in the It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk

Author: ageukcomms

Age UK

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