Commenting on the latest Households Below Average Income figures released today that show that pensioner poverty has remained at over 2 million, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age said:
“These figures clearly show that not enough is being done to bring older people out of poverty. It is disgraceful that levels of later life poverty have remained the same, and alarmingly, these figures don’t even tell the full story because after the period these stats cover, people were hit by 40-year high inflation which has put massive pressure on people’s low and modest incomes. Every day, our helpline receives calls from frightened older people who have been forced to make dangerous cutbacks on both heating and eating. Without urgent, targeted and sustained action by the government, poverty in later life could start rising again during the cost-of-living crisis and beyond.
“Today’s stats confirm there are still over 2 million older people living in poverty – almost one in five – and last week’s Budget didn’t offer any concrete solutions on cutting this number. However, there is a way to reduce poverty in later life by ensuring people receive the financial support they are entitled to via Pension Credit - extra money designed to help with living costs for people over State Pension age and on a low income. According to the latest reliable statistics, up to 850,000 of the poorest older households are still missing out on the Pension Credit they’re entitled to. The Government needs to act now to create an uptake strategy for this vital benefit. This must focus on sustained and strategic activity to ensure money gets to eligible people rather than broad awareness campaigns alone.
“In modern Britain, nobody should live in poverty at any age, including during later life. That’s why immediate solutions are needed to help older people living in financial hardship now.”