Following the First Minister’s Programme for Government today, Debbie Horne, Scotland Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Independent Age said:
“Today is a missed opportunity to help the 150,000 older people living in poverty across Scotland. Alarmingly, this figure has risen by 25% in the last decade alone, with the ongoing costs crisis squeezing the budgets of those in later life to breaking point. The First Minister should have used today’s Programme for Government to announce a strategy to tackle pensioner poverty and reverse this frightening trend.
“None of us dream of a later life where, because of the cost, we risk falls by not turning on the lights or are forced to skip meals, yet this is now a reality for 1 in 7 older people. With over 3 in 5 over 65s on a low income currently cutting their food spending, and almost 3 in 4 reducing their heating, they’re terrified for the winter to come.
“The Scottish Government should reconsider this glaring omission from today’s announcement and urgently announce a plan to reduce financial hardship in later life. They’ve said that tackling poverty is a key priority - older people must not be forgotten in this.”