Hard-up old folk are buying cheaper food

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ONE third of South Yorkshire pensioners are scrimping on their weekly grocery shop because of money worries, a survey has revealed.

An Age UK poll found 31 per cent of old folk in the county said they are buying cheaper or less food while one fifth said they cut back on their heating during the winter months to make ends meet.

And 20 per cent of those surveyed also said they are going out less in order to save cash.

The charity today warned rising living costs are causing significant hardship for pensioners, with nearly half saying they are just “getting by”.

Despite inflation falling slightly, the Retail Price Index is still at 5.3 per cent with food and fuel rising rapidly.

Pensioners will see the basic state pension rise by 4.5 per cent this year and other benefits by 3.1 per cent.

Age UK and Labour’s pension spokeswoman Rachel Reeves are launching the “more money in your pocket” campaign to encourage older people to claim all the benefits to which they are entitled.

The Labour government introduced pension credit to try to boost incomes yet around a third of people eligible to claim the top-up aren’t getting it, with up to £3 billion unclaimed.

Ms Reeves said: “Older people in our society are facing some really tough times with rising prices, the VAT increase and low savings rates, so it’s vital everyone gets what they’re entitled to.”

A spokesman for Age UK said: “At a time when so many people are struggling financially, it is unacceptable that vital benefits are failing to reach some of the poorest and most vulnerable older people in our society.”

Age UK questioned 1,200 people over 65 in Yorkshire and Humber.

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