Reacting to figures published today, Independent Age Chief Executive, Joanna Elson, CBE: 

Statistics released today are damning. Over 150,000 pensioners in Scotland are living in poverty with an extremely alarming increase in the number of pensioners living in severe poverty, up more than 30% compared to previous statistics. In a compassionate society, no one should have to experience the injustice of poverty and the impact this has on their daily life, health and wellbeing, including people in later life. With too many older people continuing to live in poverty and the number in severe poverty growing, it’s evident we need a step change in action from both the UK and Scottish Governments to reverse this alarming trend.  

The UK Government has key levers it can pull to change this. It’s vital there is action to make sure the amount people receive through the State Pension and Pension Credit is enough to live on. For this to happen, the UK Government must instigate a cross-party review to establish the adequate minimum level of income needed to avoid poverty in later life, alongside robust plans to get the existing financial support available to every older person.  

The Scottish Government also has a responsibility to recognise the scale of this issue and should respond to these alarming figures by urgently introducing a pensioner poverty strategy. While we have a child poverty strategy, we are unaware of any plans to produce a strategy to reduce poverty in later life. As today’s figures show, without a concerted effort from Government, too many older people are being left to suffer in poverty. The time for action is now. 

Share this article

Print this page