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Pensioners pushed on bills

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The share of income that pensioner households spend on bills reached a 10-year record high in 2005, according to Norwich Union.

Pensioner households now spend nearly a quarter (22.7%) of their disposable income on bills. The Norwich Union index tracks changes in pensioners’ incomes and household spending.

The costs of fuel, water, electricity and gas rose in total by nearly £100 last year. This is double the increase in 2004 and four times the rises seen in 2003 and 2002. Overall, pensioner household bills climbed by 7.4% in 2005 – 4 times the rate of inflation as measured by the government’s consumer price index (1.8 % in March 2006).

Daren Carter, director of sales and marketing for Norwich Union Personal Finance, said: “We commissioned this index to look at the challenges faced by retired people, and to see how pensioners’ disposable income is changing. Retirement is often regarded as a time when pensioners should be enjoying their life but rising household bills mean that many on fixed incomes are struggling to makes ends meet.”


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