“I worked as a salesman in a furniture store and made good money,” he said.
However, since he retired earlier this year, the couple now have to live on a pension of £185 a week.
“I’m always in debt because I’m two weeks behind on my payments,” said Mr. Bennett, 66, who lives in Tipton. “Of which £100 a week for rent, £35 a month for water and £70 a month for city tax. This is ridiculous. And on top of that we have gas and electricity.”
Bilston shoppers supported the Feed a Family campaign today. Many have spoken of the challenges they will face in the coming weeks as the bill rises.
Bennett said his wife, who is only 64, was not eligible for a pension and was advised to apply for universal credit instead. “We haven’t heard yet what it will give us,” he says.
Bennett, 66, echoes Theresa May’s famous saying: I have savings at the moment, so I’m doing well, but if it continues like this, it won’t last much longer.”
Susan Gordon, 60, lives in Moxley with her partner Dean Chapman and son Jaden, 16. she said: My partner always has the heating on and I always tell him to turn it off.
Her uncle Leonard Bastable, 86, from the Stowlawn area of Bilston, says he’s lucky to have a son who helps him financially. “I don’t think I could have made it through if he didn’t,” he said.
Foundry worker Darren Till, 51, says he makes a decent income, but even he is feeling the pinch. “Everything is going up in price,” said Till, who lives in Bilston.
Former director John Hammond, 61, who lives near Cannock and now runs the business, worries about what will happen when energy prices rise.
He says the situation is often muddled by talk of costs to the “average” family without any real explanation of what that means.
“They say it costs £100 to fill the average car, but mine is around £60,” he says.
“At the moment, it costs a little more, but I don’t think it’s started yet,” he says.
“I think we’ll be able to actually see it around February or March next year.”