A SCOTTISH pensioner has said he doesn’t know if he will ever be able to pay off his energy bills as he fears price rises set to arrive in April.

Robert McKinlay said his bills have already gone from £60 a month to more than £140 in the last year.

The 66-year-old Glaswegian has emphysema and has recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

McKinlay, a former gym instructor, had a disability car but it was stolen a few weeks ago which means he is spending more time in his home.

“I’ve had a hard time coping with the price rises,” he told The National. “Electricity is just one of that. I’m already more than £200 in debt with my gas.

“I don’t know if I can ever pay that back. I don’t know how I am going to cope. It’s shocking. I just don’t feel looked after by the Government.


“And it’s unfair what they are doing to the young folk. Nobody is getting what they are needing.”

McKinlay has been to food banks before and expects he will have to use them more as energy prices continue to stay high. Asked what he wants to see from the Government, he said: “More help."

For McKinlay, warm banks aren’t an option. “The problem with someone with emphysema is you don’t want to get the cold, get the flu and you don’t want to pick up Covid. So I have to avoid warm banks because they’re indoors. All it takes is one person with a sniffle or a cold and I end up with a respirator.”

Jackie O’Neill, operations manager at charity Parent to Parent which helps families care for children with additional needs around Angus, Dundee Perth and Kinross, said high energy prices are having a disproportionate impact on Scots with health issues and disabilities.

The National:

She said: “For a lot of the families we support sometimes either one or no parents are able to work because of the needs of their child.

“That could mean they are at home all day. That has a knock-on effect on heating and food.”

SNP MP Alan Brown said: “There is no doubt there is not enough support being given to people who are struggling. The reality is 6.9 million households are classed as being in fuel poverty at the moment and it’s estimated it will be 8.4m households in April. That’s almost a third of households struggling to pay energy bills.

“People with health conditions and disabilities have to have the heating on longer so they are struggling badly. And in terms of prepayment metres, there is a further issue that 50% of customers have health issues or disabilities. That’s a cohort that is already struggling.

“They’re forced onto prepayment meters, paying a higher tariff and of course, get disconnected once their credit limit meets £10.”