Over 50′s in the UK are having to endure an inflation rate substantially higher than the rest of the UK according to research undertaken by SAGA. Their data revealed that over 50′s inflation is 5.5% (RPI) while as for the rest of the population it is 4.8% (RPI). We have reported previously about how the older generation are hit disproportionately harder by rising prices in energy, fuel and food which leads to an increase in so-called ‘grey inflation’. Although fuel and energy prices have come down since the summer, this high level of inflation is still having a damaging impact on spending power. According to SAGA Diretory General Ros Altmann…”…Inflation remains over double the Government’s 2% target and older people are suffering worse than anyone“. Since 2007 it is estimated that inflation for the over 50′s has been above 20%, while for the rest of the population is has been 15.1%. Whilst high unemployment grabs the headlines and is a tragedy for those involved, this only impacts on 7% of the population, e/g those people out of work. On the other hand inflation impacts on everyone.
As mentioned prices for electricity and gas prices have fallen slightly of late as the wholesale prices have fallen. But since the start of the economic downturn in 2007 gas prices have gone up by 67.2% and electricity prices by 38.6%. For those who are on fixed incomes, such as retired people, paying for fuel bills often means cutting back in other areas. This can mean eating less or in some extreme cases, not eating at all. The situation is exacerbated by the bewildering number of tariffs offered by energy companies, over 300 in total. This means that often people are not getting the best deal as they cannot fathom which tariff is best for them. The government says it is working with OFGEM to see if the process can be simplified. However, this issue has been going on for sometime already. Inflation is predicted to fall in the next 12 months, but whether it will fall back to pre 2007 levels of under 2.5% seems unlikely.