THE cost of living crisis is forcing pensioners to choose between heating and eating, a charity has warned. 

Age Scotland says that today's 3.1% rise in the state pension falls short of the spiralling cost of energy, fuel and food

To mitigate the rising costs, the charity has called for one-off payments to be made available to pensioners on the lowest incomes to support them through the cost of living crisis which has seen prices increase at their highest rate in 30 years. 

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Two weeks ago, the Glasgow Times launched our Beat The Squeeze campaign to support readers through the biggest cost of living increase in recent years. 

We have told stories of ordinary Glaswegians left with just £36 a week to live on and who have had to wear "layers and layers" of clothing because they are too worried to turn their heating on

Age Scotland has urged older people to contact them to ensure they are getting all of the benefits they are entitled to and warn that the elderly may face a stigma in claiming them. 

Adam Stachura from Age Scotland, said: "Today's state pension increase is dwarfed by the rising costs of bills and leaves hundreds of thousands of older people in Scotland facing tough times ahead.

"The UK government's decision to scrap the triple lock on pensions, which guaranteed a real cost of living increase, has made day to day living for many older people very bleak indeed.

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"There needs to be more one off payments for older people on the lowest incomes as a matter of urgency to avoid a grim situation becoming worse.

"This cost of living crisis is forcing older people to make impossible choices, between heating their homes and food shopping. Energy and food are necessities, not privileges, and it is shocking to think of older people in Scotland today having to live in a cold home or go hungry because they can't afford to pay escalating bills."

Adam urged older people who are struggling with their bills to contact Age Scotland on 0800 12 44 222 where advisers can offer advice, information and support.