PENSIONERS are cutting back on food and heating – yet many are not claiming benefits they are entitled to.
An Age Concern study found 66% of older people are reducing their use of gas and electricity while 52% are buying less or lower quality food.
The charity wants the Government to encourage more people to claim pensioner credit. Nearly two million older people are not claiming their share of the £2.8bn fund.
Age Concern director Gordon Lishman said: “It is deeply worrying that millions of pounds of benefits cash are failing to reach the poorest pensioners at a time when thousands of people are being forced to cut back on essentials like food and fuel.
“Introducing a system of automatic benefits is the only effective way to reach all those who need help in these difficult financial times.”
Meanwhile, another charity has called for more action on fuel poverty.
Help the Aged asked 153 MPs what they thought should be done about the problem. Some 80% supported increasing the winter fuel payment.