It Doesn’t Add Up – Urgent New Age UK Report on The Cost Of Living

Age UK’s Campaigns Team have published an urgent new report “It’s Doesn’t Add Up” all about the cost of living crisis. Find out how you can spread the word below.

Age UK has published an urgent report on the rising cost of living, calling on the Government to provide immediate financial support for pensioners. Find out full details of the “It Doesn’t Add Up” report below, including how your organisation can help to spread the word.

The new report, “It Doesn’t Add Up”, warns that those on the very lowest incomes are spending almost a fifth (18 per cent) of their after-tax household income on energy bills because of April’s price cap rise, with one in three older households (29 per cent) in England ‘fuel-stressed’.

Life is fast becoming unaffordable for many older households on low and modest incomes, with millions unable to pay for basic items, according to the new report published today.

The report calls for the Government to commit to the following measures to help those on low and modest incomes:

  • Raising the level of benefits and the State Pension during this financial year so they keep pace with inflation.
  • Targeting a direct one-off payment of £500 to those on the lowest incomes to help mitigate the impact of energy price rises.
  • Introducing improved social tariffs into the energy market.
  • Doing more to ensure everyone eligible for benefits such as Pension Credit receives their entitlement.

Social Media Templates

We are anticipating a major announcement imminently from the Government on new measures to help those on low and modest incomes to face the rising cost of living.

It would really help build pressure on the Government and raise awareness of the challenges facing older people if you could share the report and the policy calls with your supporters.

You can use the following template social media posts to promote the report:

Twitter

Tweet 1:

Older people on low and modest incomes are struggling to make ends meet. Prices of everyday items are going up so quickly that they risk being totally overwhelmed.

Age UK’s new report #ItDoesntAddUp calls on the Government to act now: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/it-doesnt-add-up/#:~:text=At%20Age%20UK%2C%20we%20are,they%20risk%20being%20totally%20overwhelmed

Tweet 2:

“I have cut out eating lunch as I need to reduce my food bill, some days having only one meal a day.”

Millions of older households won’t have enough money to cover essentials this year. Age UK’s report #ItDoesntAddUp calls for immediate Government support:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/it-doesnt-add-up/#:~:text=At%20Age%20UK%2C%20we%20are,they%20risk%20being%20totally%20overwhelmed

Facebook

We are concerned about how the rising cost of living is affecting older people on low and modest incomes. Prices of everyday items are going up so quickly that they risk being totally overwhelmed. Age UK’s new report #ItDoesntAddUp calls on the Government to act now and support those most at risk during the #CostOfLivingCrisis:

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/it-doesnt-add-up/#:~:text=At%20Age%20UK%2C%20we%20are,they%20risk%20being%20totally%20overwhelmed

Age UK’s response to the High Court decision on discharges into care homes

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, has written a blog on the recent High Court ruling concerning the Government’s decision to discharge older people from hospitals into care homes in spring 2020.

Issued on 27 April, the recent High Court ruling concerning the Government’s decision to discharge older people from hospitals into care homes in spring 2020 was an important moment, says Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK. But what did it signify and what must happen next? You can read the full blog from Caroline here.

Age UK’s Briefing and Statement Following the Queen’s Speech

Following the Queen’s Speech, Age UK’s Influencing Team sent a briefing and statement to MPs yesterday. You can view both the briefing and statement below.

In response to the Queen’s Speech, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:

“We were pleased that the Government committed to bringing forward legislation on mental health, rental reform and the energy price cap, but disappointed that a Bill to enact the Government’s promise to give unpaid carers the right to five days unpaid leave each year was absent.

We are also worried that an unintended consequence of the Government’s proposed Bill of Rights will be a weakening of the protections available to older people when their human rights are breached, for example, in a care home. The pandemic demonstrated a pressing need to extend and strengthen older people’s rights, especially if they are in vulnerable situations, so we will be urging Ministers to take this fully into account as they develop their reforms.

We would have liked the Government to have said more in the Speech about how they intend to help older people on low fixed incomes cope with soaring prices. This, together with long NHS waiting lists and problems accessing their GP, is the topic that older people tell us is worrying them the most.

That said, confirmation that the energy price cap will be extended beyond 2023 and a new law will be introduced to protect access to cash – both measures that we’ve been calling for – are very welcome.”  

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

You can read the full briefing sent to MPs below:

Cost of living Survey – It Doesn’t Add Up Campaign

To support the new “It Doesn’t Add Up” campaign, Age UK’s Campaigns Team have created a survey to hear the experiences of older people who are worried about the rising cost of living.

“It Doesn’t Add Up” is Age UK’s follow up to the Cost of Cold campaign, continuing the call for immediate and sufficient support for older people as the cost of living rises to unprecedented levels. To support the campaign, we have created a survey to hear the experiences of older people who are worried about the rising cost of living. We would be really grateful if you could share the survey with your networks – you can find full details below along with some template social media wording.

We know many older people, particularly those on low and fixed incomes, are struggling to make ends meet. Soaring energy bills were just the beginning, with the cost of food and fuel, among other necessities, on the rise.

Age UK is campaigning for the Government to provide the necessary support older people need to avoid struggling. We’re looking to hear from older people worried about the rising cost of living and making sacrifices in order to pay their bills. With this insight, we can inform the Government how rising costs are affecting older people and what sort of support will help.

We would really appreciate it if you could share this survey with the older people you support to help us gain this important insight. Together we can make sure the older peoples’ voices are heard.

Thank you as always, for your support. If you have any questions about the survey or the It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, please contact Luke Pilot.

Template Social Media Wording

You can use the following template wording and infographic to share the survey on social media, on your website, or in your newsletter:

Twitter:

If you are worried about the rising cost of living, we want to hear from you. Complete our short survey to tell us how you are making ends meet and how #ItDoesntAddUp We’ll use your feedback to campaign for more Government support.

https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/104756/data/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

Facebook:

We want to hear from older people about how the rising cost of living is affecting you and the sacrifices you are having to make. If you or an older person you know is worried about the rising cost of living, please complete our short survey. We will use the insight you give us to show the Government how older people are being affected and what needs to be done to support you.

https://campaigns.ageuk.org.uk/page/104756/data/1?ea.tracking.id=LAUK

Infographic:

Reminder: Fourth Quarterly PIR Form closes soon

A quick reminder that there’s still time to complete the fourth Quarterly PIR form ahead of the 30th April deadline.

This is a quick reminder that the latest PIR form is still available for you to complete here ahead of the 30th April deadline. This form covers the period between 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022, Quarter 4 of 2021/22. There are four additional questions included in this quarter’s form, find out full details of these new questions below, along with the data report from last quarter, as well as the reference copy and data transparency statement as usual.

The reference copy and the data transparency statement can be viewed here:

Word Document Reference Copy:

Data Transparency Statement:

Changes to Questions

There are 4 additional questions included in this quarter.

  • We have included a question on unique people supported in this financial year. This is included to remove the risk of double counting from the monthly data, and enable us to present a final figure for the financial year.

  • We have included questions on how many active volunteers you are engaged with. We are trialling these with a view to including them for the coming financial year. Any feedback would be appreciated. The reasons for collecting this data are:
    • Being able to connect Partners with other Partners who involve a similar number of volunteers
    • Estimating the number of volunteer product items available to Partners which Age UK purchases and provides each year
    • Promoting Partner volunteering in general by sharing network-wide volunteer totals in various media and highlight pieces

Quarter 3 Data Report

The Quarter 3 data report can be accessed here. National Service data was included in the PIR for the first time, and can be seen in this report.

If you have any questions, please email localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk.

Local Elections 2022 – Campaigning Guidance and Template Letter to Candidates

An update from Age UK’s Campaigns Team on the upcoming Local Elections on 5th May, including guidance from the Charity Commission, a template letter to candidates, and social media wording.

With local elections happening across London and parts of England on 5th May, here’s a campaigning guide from Age UK’s Campaigns Team. Read on for details on the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity, as well as access to a template letter to candidates and some social media wording.

Local elections are happening across London and parts of England on 5th May. All councillors in all London boroughs, as well as elections for councillors in some Metropolitan boroughs, District Councils, Unitary authorities and the Somerset and North Yorkshire County Councils, will take place. The Mayor for the South Yorkshire Combined Authority will also be elected. You can check on the Electoral Commission website what elections are taking place near you.

As ever, charities must ensure they adhere to the Charity Commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity. This means charities must not endorse candidates or campaign to influence the outcome of an election. To ensure they remain neutral, Charities must also consider:

  • How to respond to requests by candidates to visit your events or services.
  • How to limit any association between a particular political party and your charity if a member of staff is running as a candidate.

Age UKs based in London may want to use Age UK London’s resources for engaging with candidates, which includes a template letter and a manifesto.

Engaging candidates

You might want to email candidates in these elections to highlight the issues older people face locally and ask for a commitment from candidates to tackling these issues.

Alternatively, you might want to engage newly elected councillors once the results have been announced. It would be helpful to build relationships with local councillors and the leader of your council once they are in position, perhaps by inviting them to attend one of your services.

If you would like to write to candidates ahead of the elections and promote issues facing older people, you can use the template letter below. We recommend highlighting two or three issues that are impacting older people locally or that your Age UK has been working on tackling.

Social Media Wording

If you would like to promote participation in local election voting, you can share the “Where Do I Vote?” tool to help people identify their polling station.

You can also promote this on Twitter:

Local elections are taking place today! Don’t forget to cast your vote – you can find your polling station here: wheredoivote.co.uk/

And on Facebook:

Local elections are taking place today! There are multiple council positions being elected and this is your chance to ensure older peoples’ voices are heard. You can check where your polling station is here: wheredoivote.co.uk/

For any support with your local election activity and engaging candidates, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Age UK Campaigns Calendar – Second Quarter 2022

Age UK’s External Affairs Team has compiled a campaigns calendar with details on influencing work Age UK will be focusing on in the second quarter of 2022 – including how local partners can get involved.

The second quarterly campaigns calendar from the Age UK External Affairs team is now available below! Covering the months from April to June, the calendar includes details on key Age UK campaigns, including the cost of living campaign ‘It Doesn’t Add Up’ which follows on from the recent Cost of Cold campaign.

The calendar also includes details on the multiple awareness days and weeks coming up over the summer, including Carers Week and Loneliness Awareness Week. Please keep an eye out for how Age UK will be marking these occasions, including providing resources to use at your local Age UK.

As ever, we deeply appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to campaign alongside you!

We hope this will be a helpful tool for you when planning your activities over the next few months. If you have any feedback or queries, or would like to discuss any of these campaigns or support influencing locally, please get in touch with Luke Pilot via luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

The Calendar is available to view and download below:

Older People’s Health and Care Survey – Spring 2022

Age UK’s Health Influencing Team are conducting the Spring 2022 edition of the “Older People’s Health and Care Survey” and would be grateful if you could share the survey across your networks.

Last Autumn, we undertook Wave 3 of our research about older people’s experiences of the pandemic. The response was incredible, with over 17,000 people completing the survey. We received over 75,000 free text responses and we read every one of them. Thank you for taking the time to promote the survey so we could hear older people’s experiences and views. Wave 4 of our “Older People’s Health and Care Survey” is now live and we would be really grateful if you could again complete and share the survey with your clients, colleagues and supporters. Full details can be found below, thank you all for your help.

Following Wave 3 of this research last Autumn, we have been able to use what respondents told us to apply pressure on the Government and NHS England to ensure the right support is in place for older people. We have shared the research findings with local partners across the Age UK Network, as well as NHS organisations, Government departments, other charities and voluntary sector organisations, and with hundreds of people working with and for older people. We’ve had terrific feedback from you and other organisations, telling us just how valuable it’s been to hear about older people’s experiences.

As the country begins to live with Covid, following the Government’s plans, it’s essential that older people are not left behind. That’s why we are launching Wave 4 of the research, so older people can tell us how they are coping now that restrictions have been lifted.

The survey, which can be found here, should take around 15 minutes (potentially more, depending on how much respondents want to tell us) and our colleagues will be using the results to continue to apply pressure on the Government and NHS to support older people to get back on their feet after two years of incredible challenges. 

You can also promote the survey online here.

Thank you for supporting our research! We look forward to sharing the findings with you later in the year.

Fourth Quarterly PIR Form now available for completion

The form for the fourth Quarterly PIR is now available for you to complete ahead of the 30th April deadline.

Many thanks to those of you who completed the third quarterly Partner Information Return (PIR) in January. The latest PIR form is now available for you to complete here ahead of the 30th April deadline. This form covers the period between 1st January 2022 and 31st March 2022, Quarter 4 of 2021/22. There are four additional questions included in this quarter’s form, find out full details of these new questions below, along with the data report from last quarter, as well as the reference copy and data transparency statement as usual.

The reference copy and the data transparency statement can be viewed here:

Word Document Reference Copy:

Data Transparency Statement:

Changes to Questions

There are 4 additional questions included in this quarter.

  • We have included a question on unique people supported in this financial year. This is included to remove the risk of double counting from the monthly data, and enable us to present a final figure for the financial year.

  • We have included questions on how many active volunteers you are engaged with. We are trialling these with a view to including them for the coming financial year. Any feedback would be appreciated. The reasons for collecting this data are:
    • Being able to connect Partners with other Partners who involve a similar number of volunteers
    • Estimating the number of volunteer product items available to Partners which Age UK purchases and provides each year
    • Promoting Partner volunteering in general by sharing network-wide volunteer totals in various media and highlight pieces

Quarter 3 Data Report

The Quarter 3 data report can be accessed here. National Service data was included in the PIR for the first time, and can be seen in this report.

If you have any questions, please email localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk.

Urgent action on social care: Stop changes to the cap on care costs

The Health & Care Bill will be returning to the House of Commons next week and we anticipate the government will make changes that will water down the cap on social care costs. Find out how you can help to stop these changes.

The Health & Care Bill will be returning to the House of Commons next week, after being debated in the House of Lords. The Government had tabled amendments to the cap on social care costs, which would have watered down the cap and left it beyond the reach of many older people. The House of Lords voted to remove this amendment, therefore preserving the cap and ensuring it serves everyone and not just the wealthiest. We anticipate the Government will bring back a similar amendment when the bill is debated again by MPs. Find out how you can help to stop changes to the cap on care costs below.

Age UK’s analysis shows that the Government’s planned changes would result in:

  • more than 4 in 5 older people seeing no benefit of the cap at all
  • poorer older people being much more likely to die before they reach the cap than someone who is better off with the same care needs.

Age UK believes the cap should benefit everyone accessing care services and that this shouldn’t be denied to those with few or modest assets or those who live in poorer regions of the country. We need MPs to understand why these changes are unfair and regressive and to vote against them if they are proposed again.

Please use this template letter to write to your MP asking them to oppose these changes to the cap. You can also include this general briefing on amendments to the bill and this briefing specifically on the changes to the cap. The bill could be debated again as early as Wednesday 30th March, so if you could send this letter to your MPs as soon as possible, we should be able to build opposition to these changes.

For further details or support with engaging your MPs, please contact luke.pilot@ageuk.org.uk.

Thank you as always for your support.