Tory hopefuls’ pledges to help PBOs are just a drop in the bucket, say activists | Personal finance | Finance
Various suggestions from the two Tory leadership candidates – cutting VAT on energy bills, scrapping the green tax or cutting income tax – have been criticized by senior citizens’ group Silver Voices, which say the pledges don’t even “scratch the surface”. Manager Dennis Reed said there seemed to be ‘little sense of urgency’ in the couple’s fight against the couple’s impending energy bill crisis and that any help may come too late for those forced to make a choice between eating and heating.
He warned: “We are talking about potentially thousands of lives at risk.”
Instead, he called for pensioners to be provided with a basic weekly income of at least £200 and for the reintroduction of triple pension locking.
Former Chancellor Mr Sunak pledged ‘hundreds of pounds more’ for energy bill support, saying it would be his ‘moral responsibility’ to offer more help with utility bills he was chosen as prime minister, especially to pensioners and benefit recipients.
Foreign Secretary MsTruss said she would ‘do everything I can to support working families’ if she reaches number 10, while stressing her preference for tax cuts over tax cuts. helpers”.
However, energy consultancy Auxilione said last week that Ofgem could be forced to set the cap for April at a figure above £5,000 a year for the average household on a default tariff. He also predicted that bills would top £4,000 in January and the average household would spend £571 on energy in January alone.
But Mr Reed said those amounts were impossible to come by for the roughly four million pensioners who depend on a basic public pension of £142 a week or a small private pension as their main income.
“There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of older people who are left upstream without a paddle. They are desperate,” he said.
“It is a completely impossible situation and the government must recognize that this is a real crisis.
“The government needs to recognize that we’re not talking about people depriving themselves of luxuries because they left a long time ago.”
Mr Reed said many people already had no money for emergencies.
“We’re talking about people who don’t have enough to live on, which is a pretty pitiful state for the UK in 2022.
“So there is still a lot to do and we argue that instead of so-called handouts, as Liz Truss calls them, we need to improve the state pension.
“At the moment the government and the energy companies are really just tinkering on the edge of the crisis, because the amounts that are being discussed, for example the elimination of the green levy and the VAT on energy, all these sorts of things will only amount to a few hundred pounds a year.
“That’s not even scratching the surface of the problem.”
He added: “We believe that basic income for vulnerable households is the thing to tackle, which means looking at universal credit, pension credits and improving the pension of basis of the state.”
Mr Reed said: “The income tax cuts won’t affect the majority of pensioner households anyway.
“It will mean a little extra money in the pockets of those who are still working and those who are reasonably well-off, but it will mean nothing for older people.
“Anyone in the UK who has contributed to our tax and national insurance system should be entitled to enough money to survive – and that’s all we’re asking for.”
Mr Reed said the Tory leadership race felt like it was ‘playing while Rome burned’ as the new Prime Minister will not be announced until September 5, just a month before the energy cap comes into force of October.
“Truss and Sunak are arguing with each other over whether or not there should be tax cuts.
“Boris Johnson has been reluctantly brought back from partial retirement to do something.
“But everyone says we can’t do anything until September 5.”
Mr Reed added: “It’s not very reassuring for those millions of people who are wondering where their next costs will come from in the fall. All of these things take time to implement if you need to legislation Whether there are going to be changes to benefits that take the Department for Work and Pensions months to arrange.
“So there seems to be little sense of urgency at the moment and nothing like the urgent actions and decisions that took place during the pandemic, when the government suddenly sprang into action and made decisions on the how people and businesses should be supported.
“I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that we’re talking about potentially thousands of lives at risk.
“Many older people will be tempted to cut back on their diet and certainly turn off the heating in the winter because they won’t be able to pay the bills.
“There are already around 25,000 additional deaths every winter caused by hypothermia etc., and this is going to increase massively with the current energy crisis.”