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7m over-50s struggling with heating bills

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18/12/2012
Nearly 60% of over-50s are worrying over the costs of heating their homes this winter as nearly 7m struggle to keep up with their heating bills.

According to insurers Saga, one in four older people have cut their spending to afford heating and Britain’s older generations are trying all they can to keep their heating bills down. 

Over half are wearing extra clothes while in the home – increasing to 64% amongst women.

More than a quarter won’t heat so many rooms, while one in ten will stop using parts of their house all together.

7% have said they will stay in bed longer to keep fuel bills as low as possible.

Dr. Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, said: “Every year, the winter freeze poses a very real problem for older people struggling to keep warm. Recent figures from ONS show that 24,000 pensioners died of cold last winter in the UK.

“While this is a welcome reduction from over 26,000 the previous year, this shocking statistic shows that much more needs to be done to protect the most vulnerable in society over the coldest months of the year.”

“Nick Clegg yesterday argued that we have to take pensioner benefits such as Winter Fuel Payments away from wealthy pensioners. This may be a populist headline, but it is absolutely the wrong policy.

“Winter Fuel Payments are an essential lifeline for many pensioners during the cold winter months and this initiative facilitates a way for those who don’t feel they need the money to recycle it to someone who is struggling with the cost of heating.”

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