Gas prices have increased by 50%

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Gas prices have increased by more than half over the last 12 months, it has been claimed.

According to the Alliance Trust, electricity prices increased by more than 30 per cent during the same period.

The trust said that these increases were having a profound effect on pensioners, with those over the age of 75 spending an average of seven per cent of their retirement budget on electricity and gas.

Shona Dobbie, head of the Alliance Trust Research Centre, claimed utility price increases are a big concern for the elderly, especially during the winter months.

Siobhan McCann of Help the Aged said: "Pensioners are struggling more than ever because most of the rising prices are for essential items such as food, energy and now water."

"These prices are rising faster than inflation," she added.

Meanwhile, research by the Conservative Party shows that inflation for pensioners is as high as 8.6 per cent for singles.

British Gas was the first firm to cut its energy prices this year – knocking ten per cent off its tariffs.

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