Pensioners' annual living costs rise by £800

Elderly people are not receiving the benefits of falling fuel prices while being adversely affected by rising utility costs

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Pensioners’ annual costs are up £800 from last year, new figures reveal.

The yearly living costs incurred by pensioners have increased from £10,387 last year to a predicted average of £11,200 for 2015, according to official figures.

This eight per cent rise in costs is partly due to the fact that pensioners have been unable to take advantage of many of the changes - designed to help keep costs low - made by the Government.

Increases in food, alcohol and tobacco have adversely affected them, while falling petrol prices have not impacted their daily costs as many use their free elderly passes to travel, or travel less frequently.

Additionally, low mortgage rates have not positively impacted over 65s because many have already paid off their mortgages by the time they reach retirement.

The higher numbers, 16 times the official rate of inflation, equate to an eight per cent increase in cost.

In comparison, if pensioners’ costs had increased in line with national inflation of 0.5 they would be facing only a £50 increase, rather than £800.

Statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that average food prices in December increased by £5, but spending on rent, maintenance, gas and electricity bills was up by almost £200.

The figures, released by Key Retirement, also showed there were large variations regionally.

Thus, if you are a pensioner living in the North East, you can expect annual costs of approximately £9,630. In comparison, elderly individuals living in the South East may incur cost of as much as £13,216 – shockingly even higher than London, predicted as £12,992.

“Pensioners are not sharing in the boost from the record low inflation rate, with their costs continuing to rise much faster than the rest of the country,” a spokesperson from Key Retirement told the Daily Mail.

He added: “The benefits of falling prices are not much help to pensioners who are living on incomes which are squeezed.”