Silver Voices has issued ‘life-saving’ advice to pensioners

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It says that older people must not “jeopardise” their health by turning off their heating or by failing to eat and drink a proper diet. The organisation says it is not aligning with the “Don’t Pay” political movement but insists health must not be put at risk in order to pay soaring bills.

It says the advice is intended to stop a “tragedy” of thousands dying because they do not want to fall into debt. 

In a message to members, it says: “If you genuinely can’t afford to pay your energy bills, then the first step should be to contact your supplier saying that you need support. Ask for a hardship grant and for a reduction in the tariff.”

“If you can afford something towards the bill without damaging your health, then show willing and make a part-payment. Do point out that you are following Silver Voices advice, to show you are part of a wider movement.”

The group says state pensiones in England cannot be cut off during the winter and those with long-term health conditions or disabilities cannot be cut off at any time. 

Silver Voices director Dennis Reed said: “Millions of state pensioners will be unable to afford energy bills this winter and it is the responsibility of the Government to provide sufficient support for the basics of life. “

“It would be a tragedy if thousands die through self-neglect because they don’t want to fall into debt. 

“So, we are offering strong advice to all older people that they must not put their health at risk, by turning off their heating or scrimping on meals. 

“Instead, they should pay what they can and put the responsibility back on energy companies and the Government.”

“If millions take this stand, the Government will be forced to act to control energy prices and increase the basic state pension.”

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