Energy price rise in face of reduction in winter fuel paymentMonday 17 October 2011
£100 rise in average energy bills coincides with £100 cut in pensioner Winter Fuel Payments!
Warm words won't help pensioners who will be the silent sufferers!
Ministers must tell energy companies to ensure older people get good deals.
Energy bills up by £100 since the Summer: David Cameron and Chris Huhne are holding an emergency meeting to discuss the problem of rising energy bills. They say: ''Energy bills have increased by over £100 for most people since this Summer. These price rises couldn't come at a worse time''. How right they are!
Winter Fuel Payments for pensioners being cut by £100 at same time! Yet, while holding meetings to discuss this problem, they are also presiding over a cut of £100 in Winter Fuel Payments to the over 80s. This year, instead of getting the £400 they have received in past years, they will receive only £300! (Pensioners under 80 will see their payments cut by £50 to £200). Surely, it is this that "couldn't come at a worse time." And this is in direct control of Government!
Warm words from Ministers do not heat old people's homes. Pensioners are least likely to be able to find the best deals too. The most vulnerable older people who are not on the internet, will be denied the best rates. Inflation has been soaring, older pensioners are often already in fuel poverty and yet their Winter Fuel Payments are being cut.
Costs of heating and eating spiralling as policymakers ignore older people. Policymakers seem to be consistently ignoring the needs of older people, as spending cuts bite and the costs of basics such as heating and eating are spiralling.
Government should demand energy companies offer older people best rates. We need to ensure that older people have access to the best rates in the market, even if they cannot 'shop around'. I urge the Government to impress on the energy companies that they must take special care of vulnerable, older customers, rather than taking advantage of them at this difficult time.
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