“65% of older people plan to use less heating this winter”

There were chaotic scenes in the London Parliament last night. But while MPs are unable to behave in a civilised manner the energy and cost of living crisis is still hitting people now and will get worse.

The latest Chancellor of the UK Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt only days ago on 17th of October made his incoming statement to Parliament on how to rescue the economy out of this mostly self inflicted disaster.

The energy price guarantee, which was introduced on 1 October to protect households from a hideous 80% increase in energy bills, will now only last until April 2023, rather than for the next two years as originally planned. Check out advice on this link: The energy price guarantee is now set to end in April next year – here’s what the change means for your bills

Commenting on the effect on older people , the Director of Policy & Communications at Independent Age, John Palmer, said: 

“Instead of ensuring stability, today only provided uncertainty. The review of the Energy Price Guarantee is extremely concerning. It’s no longer clear who will receive support beyond April 2023. Now millions of older people are wondering if they will be abandoned by the government and left with unaffordable energy bills and freezing homes next year.  
 
“We know that many people in later life are already making dangerous cutbacks on heating and food. Our own polling revealed that 65% of older people plan to use less heating this winter.  
 
“The government must ensure that its new targeted approach from next year helps older people in financial hardship, including the 850,000 older people who are currently entitled to Pension Credit but do not receive it.  

 “A fundamental, non-negotiable way to help older people’s incomes keep up with the price of essentials is for the government to uprate benefits and the State Pension with inflation. Today was another missed opportunity to offer this reassurance. Instead, millions of people over 65 will continue to live in fear that they will be made even poorer, when their budgets have been broken by the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland export renewable energy but have the highest rates of fuel poverty in the UK. Many also rely on other means to try and heat their homes, like oil. The UK energy system connected up by the National Grid, means that those living furthest north pay the highest prices – despite being net exporters of energy into the Grid.

Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Emma Roddick has warned that households across the Highlands & Islands could face bills of up to £5,000 next April.

The warning came after the Tories performed their U-turn and scrapped protections offered to families on the energy price cap. Labour also abstained on an SNP amendment in the House of Commons that would have prevented this.

Emma Roddick said:

“There is now absolutely no doubt that Scots are paying a heavy price for Westminster’s failures and would be better off with the full powers of independence.

“By removing the very little protection they offered to households in the current climate, the Tory Government has more than displayed it’s priorities.

“My team and I are in contact with people across the Highlands & Islands that are being hit by the UK Government’s reckless decisions and failure to act on rising energy bills every single day. It is truly heart wrenching to see so many struggling this much across my region. 

“I cannot express how deeply disappointing it is to see the Labour Party, once again, sat on its hands and refusing to offer up real opposition when it’s needed the most, and leaving households across the nation in the firing line.

“Labour’s failure to support the SNP once again exposes the democratic deficit where the vast majority of Scotland’s MPs vote one way while Westminster MPs vote for the total opposite. This is an intolerable situation we would escape with independence.

“Those in my region and across the rest of Scotland should no longer be forced to bear the rising cost of Westminster failure. We need the full powers of independence to set a better path and escape the Tories for good.”

Image credit Bell

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