Wearsiders forced to dip into retirement pots to pay energy bills, claims Sunderland charity

Theresa Finch pictured outside the Bethshan Church on Park Road.
Theresa Finch pictured outside the Bethshan Church on Park Road.
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A WEARSIDE debt charity today raised concerns about a new report which shows how more retirees are being forced to dig into their savings in a desperate bid to cover essential living costs.

Theresa Finch, from the Sunderland branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP), said it was “not surprising” that 23 per cent of 50 to 64-year-olds were forced to raid their nest eggs to pay for bills last month, compared with 20 per cent, of consumers generally. The problem has been highlighted in a study by consumer magazine Which? conducted just before a wave of energy giants announced bill hikes.

“Older people have found their savings and pensions squeezed for a long number of years and it’s not surprising that many people just don’t have the nest egg they thought they would have,” said the centre manager.

The research found 50 to 64-year-olds were most likely to be using their savings to pay for food or a household bill, with almost half worried about the level of their savings generally.

Theresa, who is based at the CAP centre at Bethshan Church, in Park Road, urged retirees with money troubles to get help.

The charity, which now has 160 centres around the UK, including a branch in Houghton as well as the city centre, partners its financial know-how with the care of the local church.

“Our best advice is to look again at budgeting via the CAP Money Course, which can help people manage their finances, even if the amounts are small,” said Theresa.

For more information, call 01274 760720, email info@capuk.org or visit www.capuk.org.