Over 50s 'facing higher bills for less energy'

A charity for over 50s has revealed new figures which suggest that older people are facing higher bills despite cutting their energy use.

Age Concern and Help the Aged has called for fairer energy rates for the over 50s after a new report revealed that older people have started to pay more for less heat.

Research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on behalf of the charity has showed that pensioner spending on heating bills has increased by a third between 2004-05 and 2006-07.

This is despite the fact that older people have slashed their energy use in the same period by seven per cent.

Moreover, it is disadvantaged over 50s who have been impacted most by these rising prices, with the poorest fifth of pensioners spending a larger proportion of their income on food and fuel than any others.

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged, stated that the figures should act as a "warning" to policymakers that action must be taken.

He said: "Vulnerable older people could be putting their health at risk in winter just to cut costs."

This comes after industry regulator Ofgem earlier this month sent an open letter to the UK's six major energy suppliers which called for cheaper energy bills.

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