The 85-year-old retired railway worker says he’s already started restricting groceries to make ends meet as prices soar. He says he is “deeply concerned” about not being able to afford his bills
A pensioner who says he’s “lucky” to have £10 left over in his bank account every month has called the cost of living crisis “deeply concerning”.
The 85-year-old retired railway worker says he’s already started restricting groceries to make ends meet as prices soar.
His energy bill has more than doubled from £21 to £49 a month as Ofgem’s price cap has skyrocketed by 54% from April 1st.
David, who lives alone in assisted living in the South Midlands, says his rent will also rise by 3.5% from next month, along with his council tax bill.
In addition, inflation has risen to 6.5% and is expected to continue rising – meaning we are all paying more for essential goods and services.
Grocery bills are expected to cost the average family around an additional £180 this year as well.
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But David told The Mirror he believes the government is not doing enough to help the elderly and disabled.
It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his spring declaration last week, but announced no help for pensioners or additional benefit increases for those claiming payments from the state.
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“I’m one of several million who are having a very hard time right now,” David said.
“I am absolutely devastated by how the elderly and disabled are being treated. I am deeply concerned.
“I will try to get an appointment with Citizens Advice but they have a huge waiting list where they live.
“I have to try and cut back and I’m going to limit my groceries. I already have problems with my water and heating supply. It’s a shame.”
Activists had hoped the chancellor might have done a U-turn by not reinstating the triple lockdown on state pensions until April 2023 — but there was no talk of an earlier return.
The Triple Lock Pledge guarantees that the state pension will increase each April in line with inflation, earnings, or by 2.5%, whichever is greater.
But in September the government confirmed it would not take wage growth into account as many people return to work in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
That would have meant retirees would have gotten an increase of about 8% from this April, but instead there will be a 3.1% increase in inflation.
Meanwhile, charities had also urged the chancellor to increase benefits beyond the 3.1% increase planned for April.
David, who claims carer’s allowance and care allowance, told The Mirror the government urgently needs to increase benefit rates for those who are struggling the most.
“I think they need to look seriously at the benefit system and give us more benefits,” he said.
“They should also reduce council tax, rent and care. I think the triple lockdown needs to be brought back as soon as possible as well.
“It feels like robbing the poor to pay for the rich. I’m concerned about my council tax and my rent is up 3.5%.
“I would like to urge the government to have respect for all UK residents. I’m happy if I have 10-15 pounds left over every month.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/pensioner-left-just-10-bank-26592325 Pensioner, who had just £10 in the bank each month, was "deeply concerned" about rising bills