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It Doesn't Add Up

The Government has announced more support to help pay your energy bills.

At Age UK, we are increasingly concerned about how the rising cost of living is affecting older people on low and modest incomes. Prices of everyday items are going up so quickly now that they risk being totally overwhelmed.

Older people get in touch with us every day to say they are drastically cutting back on their spending, but their finances just won’t stretch to cover the huge price rises they are facing. People of all ages across the country are finding that their monthly budgets simply don’t add up anymore.

Household energy prices are going up by an average of 54% and are expected to rise further in the autumn. Inflation hit 6.2% in February 2022 and is set to go even higher, yet the State Pension and benefits are only due to rise by 3.1%.

The help the Chancellor has announced so far for people on low and modest incomes is nowhere near enough. It’s simple – they won’t be able to make ends meet without considerably more government support.

The Government must take immediate action to provide more financial support. People of all ages on low and modest incomes need help to meet rising costs now and cannot wait any longer.

Read our report on the hard times facing millions of pensioners.

What we're calling for

  • The Government should raise the level of benefits and of the State Pension as soon as possible during 2022, because of the much higher than expected rate of inflation.
  • Targeted direct payments of £500 should be made to those on the lowest incomes to help mitigate the impact of energy price increases.
  • The Government must do everything it can to ensure everyone eligible for benefits, particularly Pension Credit, can access their entitlement.
  • Longer term, the Government must consult on the introduction of improved social tariffs into the energy market and should legislate for the continuation of an energy price cap.

Why we're calling for it

The price of everything is going up so much we are forced to cut down what food we can buy and what heating we can afford. I cannot afford to have dental treatment anymore and it seems in the future I will not be able to afford to live. Something will have to give i.e. rent, heating or food.


I am 72 and on a low income. The rises will affect me personally because I am on pension credit and already ration my energy use so that I can afford the bills. I feel very anxious about it.


The uncertainty regarding the energy bills along with increases in food and clothing is stressful and the future is looking bleak. I never imagined that this country would leave me, at 81 and disabled feeling helpless and insecure.


My husband has advanced Alzheimer’s, is totally bedbound, doubly incontinent and my daughter and I care for him completely at home. He has to be washed and changed at least three times a day and consequently my washing machine and dryer are permanently in use. We have to keep the heating on most of the time as his temperature quickly drops if the house gets cold. Our fuel bills are currently £270 per month.  These latest increases will make an enormous difference to our expenses but we have no choice because of my husband's health.


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Last updated: Jul 27 2022

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