The Charity believes the following two policy recommendations, if implemented immediately, could protect older people on low and modest incomes fro
The Charity believes the following two policy recommendations, if implemented immediately, could protect older people on low and modest incomes from facing unaffordable energy bills over the coming year and encourage them to keep their heating on this winter:
• Cut the five percent rate of VAT from all households’ energy bills from April till at least the end of 2022. If as expected, average bills rise to around £2,000, this would save a household just under £100. Ofgem must use the price cap to pass any VAT cut on to customers, Age UK said.
• Provide additional support (payments of up to £500) to older people on the lowest incomes. Using the eligibility criteria for the Cold Weather Payment would help guarantee automatic support to some of the homes that most need the help with their energy bills, the charity said.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The number of older people who are worried about being able to heat their homes is staggering and should be a source of shame for this Government.
“Millions of older people across the UK are absolutely dreading the imminent price cap announcement and urgently need reassurance that help is on its way so they can keep their heating on. This is a national crisis which needs a swift and decisive response from Ministers.
“Every single day we are hearing heart-breaking stories from desperate older people who are being forced to choose between heating and eating. This isn’t a looming crisis, it’s already upon us – and while the Government is dithering, millions of older people are suffering and putting their health at risk because they can’t afford to keep warm. It is an absolute scandal and one that requires urgent government action.