Retirees are turning off fridges and not using stoves as the cost-of-living crisis worsens, the charity warns

An overwhelming majority of retirees and seniors are worried about paying their energy bills and putting food on the table this winter, with some older people expressing downright fear of coping, a new survey by charity ALONE shows.

The poll, conducted ahead of the seniors’ charity’s pre-budget submission, found that 92 percent of members surveyed said they were very concerned about rising heating and energy bills, with 67 percent of respondents worrying about rising grocery costs and just under a third (32 percent) worried about the maintenance of household appliances and other necessities if they break.

Some have even switched off their fridges and stopped using gas stoves as a result of rising energy bills, while others said they have given up essentials like meat and washing powder due to rising costs.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they are “very or extremely” concerned about the cost of living, with nearly two-thirds already having trouble paying their bills.

“Several people specifically mentioned that as they got older they became worried and anxious about their future and worried about what they would do if things got worse. One respondent said: “I’m afraid that in winter I won’t be able to heat my house and I won’t be able to afford food,” while another said he was “scared for the first time in my life.” before the cost”.

Many have already expressed fears that they will not be able to use their storage heaters this winter due to escalating energy bills.

A majority of respondents (67 percent) said the government should do something in the upcoming budget to cut energy bills, increase payments to vulnerable members of society (63 percent) and reduce taxes such as VAT and excise duties.

Meanwhile, the charity is calling on the government to ensure that the state pension, the living alone allowance and the fuel allowance are each increased by at least €20 per week in the home.

She is also calling for the introduction of more social protection, health and housing measures to support older people throughout the winter and into next year.

“The repeated rise in the cost of fuel, groceries and other expenses has become unmanageable for the elderly. Budget 2023 has a chance to be a turning point. This year, household chores are the main source of hope for many elderly people ahead of what we are told will be an extremely difficult winter. We call on the government to make the right decisions this year. Increases in Budget 2023 supports are critical given the ongoing cost of living crisis for the elderly and those affected by poverty and deprivation,” said Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE.

He said: “The difficulties of older people have been increasing steadily in recent years and now the situation has become critical. People aged 65 and over were the only group to see increases across all three poverty rates between 2020 and 2021. Now, some older people say they are scared of rising costs for the first time in their lives. Older people were promised better things and that promise has not been kept.”

“Some of the talks over the past few days have pitted younger people against older people. We must not let old age become a battlefield. We believe that everyone should have a decent standard of living, including the elderly,” he added.

“We have to take into account that today around 92,000 older people live in poverty or are at risk of poverty in Ireland – that’s more than the population of County Longford and County Leitrim combined. Older people living alone have the lowest median income of any household, and those in rural areas will not earn even basic living standards. Nobody should find that acceptable.”

“The stereotype that all older people are wealthy and secure is not reflected in today’s population and will not be reflected in the years to come. The story is not as simple as “elderly versus younger,” the “haves” versus the “have-nots,” as many would like. At ALONE, for example, we still encounter cases of elderly people who don’t have indoor toilets in their homes,” he said.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/pensioners-turning-off-fridges-and-not-using-cookers-as-cost-of-living-crisis-worsens-charity-warns-41960961.html Retirees are turning off fridges and not using stoves as the cost-of-living crisis worsens, the charity warns

Fry Electronics Team

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