Cost of living campaign – Rising pensions… but even higher bills Bedford News

Higher energy bills are pushing many family budgets to the limit (Picture: Adobe)

Our Cost of Living – Price Watch campaign highlights the impact of price increases on our readers.

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April 11 saw a 3.1% public pension increase take effect for millions of pensioners.

But that rise is blinded by the further rise in the cost of living they are about to face.

Higher energy bills are pushing many family budgets to the limit (Picture: Adobe)

A recent poll of 2,000 adults found that 56% feel they cannot live comfortably with the rising cost of living.

Pension deficit

The increase for those receiving a new full state pension, from £179.60 a week to £185.15 a week over a year, equates to an increase from £9,339 to £9,628, or £289 per year more.

For those receiving a full basic public pension, the increase from £137.60 a week to £141.85 is an increase of £7,155 to £7,376, or an additional £211 a year.

The average increase in the energy bill this year is expected to reach £693, more than three times the increase in the basic state pension and 2.4 times the increase in the new state pension.

These pointers compiled by equity release experts Sovereign Boss are designed to help make life a little easier for anyone struggling with unmanageable costs:

Check pension credit eligibility if you are a low-income retiree. You may qualify for a number of reasons, such as not receiving a full state pension.

Take advantage of discounts at local stores and places that aim to help seniors. Leisure centers offer discounts for the over 60s and Boots offers special rewards for the over 60s with Advantage cards, among others.

Get involved in the sharing economy to avoid having to buy new things. Apps like NextDoor and local Facebook groups allow you to post requests to borrow items you need but don’t have.

The following advice is for others concerned about older relatives, friends and neighbours:

If you are concerned about older people in the area who you think may be struggling, offer to run errands or help with other errands that require a car ride so they can save on fuel costs.

Let them know of any offers or discounts you’ve spotted locally that they could use.

Refer them to charities such as Age UK if you think they are struggling to manage their expenses and could benefit from independent help.

StepChange can help seniors in debt.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-02 07:31:01

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