Warwickshire charity calls for budget to help older people struggling with cost-of-living crisis - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire charity calls for budget to help older people struggling with cost-of-living crisis

Rugby Editorial 3rd Mar, 2024   0

A CHARITY in Warwickshire is calling for the government to help older people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis in next week’s budget.

Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire has asked the region’s MPs to urge Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to simplify benefits for the elderly in his spring budget.

The charity says the benefits system for elderly people is difficult to navigate, and is worried about those who are eligible for additional benefits but are not receiving them.

It pointed to recent figures showing over 43 per cent of over-60s had cut back on heating or powering their homes to make ends meet, while over a fifth had cut back on food and groceries – harming their physical and mental health.

Concern was also raised for those who face extra costs due to health conditions or disabilities, and those with modest pensions or savings who are struggling due to increased costs.

The charity’s Chief Executive Michael Garrett said: “There needs to be less reliance on individuals navigating complicated systems, and there is scope for reaching more people through combining DWP, HMRC and local authority data. We would also like to see the promotion of benefit take-up extend to other benefits including Attendance Allowance.

“Through our information and advice services, we know that many disabled older people are missing out on this support which could ease the pressures of the extra costs they face.”

Rugby’s Conservative MP Mark Pawsey said: “I thank Michael and his team at Age UK to help to ensure that my constituents get the appropriate support. I have seen for myself how they are helping those with dementia through their dementia cafes, and they are right to raise this important issue.

“I will continue to work alongside my colleagues in government, as well as Rugby Borough Council and the local Department for Work and Pensions, to make sure that my constituents are able get the right help and support.”

The Chancellor will present his Spring Budget to Parliament on Wednesday (March 6).

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