Pensioners offered energy bill ‘breathing space’ – but ‘unmanageable situation’ lingers | Personal Finance | Finance

Millions of people will be impacted by Ms Truss’ announcement today, as she has outlined an energy price guarantee. A typical household will pay no more than £2,500 per year in a freeze for each of the next two years.

Understandably, this is likely to provide some level of reprieve for those on a limited income, particularly pensioners.

Many older people have been worried about heating their homes and the implications of rising bills.

Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said the announcement is likely to provide “much-needed breathing space” for older people.

However, she also warned this is likely to only be one piece of the puzzle for older Britons in tackling the ongoing cost of living crisis.

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Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The average income for a pensioner couple is around £511 per week so even at this new level some pensioners could see fuel bills taking up almost 10 percent of their income. 

“Single pensioner households could find it harder still – if their fuel needs hit the price cap that’s a whopping 19 percent of their income allocated to keeping the lights on and the heating running.

“Those pensioners solely dependent on the state pension will find it hardest of all – a full new state pension pays out just over £9,600 a year while those on the basic pension get just under £7,400 – energy bills will continue to be an enormous source of stress.”

Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices, stated despite the planned bumper boost for the triple lock next year, and the action on energy bills, there may still be worries. 

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He explained: “Fixing the energy cap above its current level, without increasing the basic income of millions of state pensioners, is embedding a permanent cut in living standards and will not prevent a cost-of-living crisis this winter. 

“State pensioners are being expected to survive until next April on a 3.1 percent rise in their pensions, when inflation will remain in double figures.

“Older people cannot afford the current energy prices, and many have already turned off their heating forever, but they are also being buffeted by soaring price rises in foods and household essentials which the Government package does not address.

“The Truss package protects those on medium and high incomes but will not prevent a full-blown humanitarian crisis this winter.”

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, expressed “relief” regarding the Government’s package of support.

However, she urged the new Prime Minister to tackle the “UK’s appallingly inefficient homes”, helping homeowners to reduce energy wasted through “poor quality, draughty homes”. 

The Government has recently explained it will spend over £110billon on the state pension this year, but recognises the challenges faced by pensioners.

A spokesperson previously told “All pensioner households will receive £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter, with those on Pension Credit getting a further £650 cost of living payment. 

“This is in addition to the £150 council tax rebate and £400 discount on their energy bills.”

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