Thursday 27 December 2012

Britain is no country for old men who had to choose between either heating or eating this Christmas

 Either                                  Or      
A study by the charity,'Age UK' has found that, among old men and women in Britain :

* many are being hit by the combination of rising fuel bills and plummeting savings and would have had to choose between either heating or eating over Christmas.

* receiving a surprise bill of just £200 would be enough to push more than a million and a quarter into debt.

 Director General, Michelle Mitchell, said: "Many older people are living hand-to-mouth and dreading the day when the cooker breaks down or energy prices rise again."

Policy Officer, Sally West, said: "This is the time of year when many people start to think about the cost of turning up the heating when they want to buy Christmas presents for their grandchildren. It is often very difficult for them because they only just have enough income to get by. When the boiler or cooker breaks down then it could tip them over the edge. They start to “make do” and that really means cutting back on the essentials of food and heat and clothing. They may do things such as only using one ring on the cooker."
The basic state pension for old men and women is only £107.45 a week and, although extra financial support is available, with many eligible for a £33 a week top-up and potential help with council tax bills,.around £5.5billion a year, however, goes unclaimed.
Sally West said : "It is an enormous amount to go unclaimed. For many it is simply that they are not aware they are eligible but some are put off by the process of claiming."
Britain today - a sad, uncharitable place for poor, old men.

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