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Published on 15 November 2022 12:00 AM

Ricky Tomlinson supports Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up campaign ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement


Life is becoming unaffordable for many older households on low and modest incomes, with three fifths (62 per cent) of people aged 60+ in the UK saying they’ve had to cut back on heating or powering their home recently, according to Age UK.[i]


Polling for the Charity has also revealed more than half (54 per cent) of over 60s are worried about the impact of energy prices on their health[ii] and high numbers of over 60s – 72 per cent – said they feel let down by the Government’s announcement that universal energy support will be cut after six months instead of the two years previously announced.


Without the knowledge that the triple lock will kick in from next April, Age UK fears that without further intervention, many older people simply won’t have the confidence to keep their homes warm this winter - a view which is supported by Age UK and actor Ricky Tomlinson.


Ricky Tomlinson, actor and Age UK ambassador commented: “To see higher prices every time you go shopping is truly frightening for the older people who only have their state pension and a few savings to rely on. However hard they try their income is not going to stretch far enough to cover the essentials anymore. Can you imagine how terrifying this prospect is if you are an older person who has just about managed so far?


“Age UK have told me some harrowing stories of older people taking drastic actions just to get by – like cutting back on meals, disconnecting the telephone and other electrical items at home to save on energy and being terrified to have the heating on for too long for fear of bills they cannot afford.


“That’s why I’m supporting Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, which is urging the Government to do the decent thing and bring back the state pension triple lock guarantee next year.  We must remember the triple lock was originally designed to ensure the state pension keeps its value at all times and protect pensioners against inflation and rising prices – but it was paused this year due to the pandemic.  Many people don’t realise that the state pension is less than £9,000 a year on average and is the main source of income for millions of older people who rely on it to survive.  It’s not a lot to live on in these times if your energy bill is predicted to be over £3,000[iii] by next April.


“The Government needs to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in our society – if they don’t, we fear that we will face a humanitarian emergency across the UK this winter like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes.”


Recent research for Age UK found that the UK public is strongly in support of retaining the triple lock.  Seventy-five per cent of adults[iv], equivalent to forty million people, think the Government should keep it, rising to 91 per cent of over-60s[v], according to the research.


Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Age UK is urging the Government to re-instate the state pension triple lock from next April and also commit to raising the value of benefits including Pension Credit in line with inflation. 


As part of its It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, the Charity is warning that those on the lowest incomes are finding it impossible to cover essential day-to-day costs and are extremely worried how they’ll afford to power and heat their homes this winter.  Age UK is deeply concerned that any decision to water down or abandon the triple lock will cause a devastating, real terms cut to the State Pension – still the main source of income for the majority of older people – at a time when the prices of everyday items are rising quickly.


Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “It is shameful that so many older people in this country are merely existing rather than living, unable to afford the very basics in life such as food and warmth. Every day at Age UK we hear stories from older people who are suffering severe hardship, some of whom are genuinely scared they won’t survive the next few months – people who daren’t put the heating on or boil the kettle to make a cup of tea; who eat biscuits instead of a hot meal, who can’t afford to shower as often as they need to, who are constantly feeling stressed, anxious, cold and hungry, with nothing left to cut back on.


“The cost-of-living crisis is taking a huge toll on our older population and the Government needs to reassure them that help is on its way. We, along with millions of others, will be watching the Chancellor’s statement on Thursday and hanging on every word, hoping against hope that he does the right thing and reinstates the triple lock. Knowing the State Pension – as well as other benefits such as Pension Credit – will be going up in line with inflation next year would give many older people the confidence to keep their heating on over the coming months.”


Age UK is urging any older person living on a low income or struggling with their bills to contact Age UK’s free Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 to check they’re receiving all the financial support available. Alternatively, people can visit or contact their local Age UK for information and advice.


Age UK hosts a free and anonymous Benefits Calculator which can provide an estimate of the benefits that people could be entitled to.  For further information about the cost-of-living crisis, please click here.




Notes to editors:


For further information on the cost-of-living crisis and the help available, please visit the ‘Help with the cost of living’ page on Age UK’s w


[i] Opinium online polling for Age UK of 4000 UK adults aged 18+, including 1301 adults aged 60+, conducted between 1st and 3rd of November 2022.

[ii] Age UK, 2022. Research briefing: Estimating the impact of the Energy Price Guarantee (October 2022) on older households in England. Age UK. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 02/10/22].  


[iv] 75% of the age 18+ population of the UK (52.89 million people, according to ONS mid-year population estimates for 2020) is 39.8 million.

[v] Opinium online polling for Age UK of 4000 UK adults aged 18+, including 1301 adults aged 60+, conducted between 1st and 3rd of November 2022.

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Last updated: Nov 15 2022

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