The predicted 50 per cent rise in energy bills from April could trigger a national emergency for millions of older people, a charity has warned.
Age UK has urged ministers to take immediate and decisive action on gas and electricity bills to "mitigate the potentially devastating impact of the escalating crisis".
In a letter this week to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, the charity wrote: "We know that many older people on low incomes already feel under so much financial pressure that they are rationing their energy use, and this is causing us real concern.” It continued: "For example, we have heard from older people who are too worried to use their oven and are living off soup and sandwiches instead, showering only every two days rather than daily, and constantly watching their smart meter and turning their heating off once their daily spending exceeds the meagre limit they have set. "Now that winter is well and truly upon us, it is all the more important that older people on low incomes have the confidence to keep their heating switched on so they can stay adequately warm over the next few months and protect their health. "This means that the [UK] Government must reassure them that, if they do so, they will not face an energy bill in the spring that will be beyond their means to pay." The price cap, which limits the amounts that suppliers can charge, is currently at an already record-beating £1,277, however, analysts at Investec think this could go up to £1,995 on April 1.Read more on dailyrecord.co.uk