‘National emergency’ as pensioners face ‘freezing to death’ due to ‘backbreaking bills’

The shocking news comes as Age UK issued a warning this week that pensioners ‘could freeze to death’ unless the Government takes immediate action. Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Age UK declared it a ‘national emergency’.

Rising energy bills have dominated the headlines for the last few months but campaigners are now worried that things are reaching a crisis point for millions of households.

Although everyone is affected, people on the state pension are the worst hit because they typically spend more money on heating during the cold winter months.

Chris Brooks, head of policy at Age UK said it’s really important that the Government puts something in place as a matter of emergency.

He said: “If they can’t afford to turn the heating on, it’s a case of whether they chose to stay warm or cut back on other essentials like food.”

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It’s not just older people who are battling to pay bills, Natasha and Gary Waterhouse told Good Morning Britain that their gas bill has increased £160 a month.

The couple from Moreton in Derbyshire used to have good jobs but poor health has forced them to give up work and rely on Universal Credit.

Natasha said: “I need the heat for my legs. If I don’t have any heat I get spasms.”

Husband Gary, who was on the verge of tears, added: “The gas is what’s affected by those bills but on top of that we’ve got electricity that’s on a pre-pay meter and we have to pay for that no matter what.”

Shocking statistics show that every winter one elderly person dies every seven minutes from the cold in England and Wales, according to Age UK.

The charity is calling for an additional £50 grant to be given to those who are eligible for Cold Weather payments.

Anyone who is struggling is urged to contact their local council to ask about additional money from the Household Support Fund – some Britons will have already received a letter.

Britons should also make sure they are receiving Winter Fuel Payments of up to £300 every winter and Cold Weather Payments of £25 if they are eligible.

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