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More than 1m pensioners in poverty in the UK


1.6 million pensioners are living in poverty, a new report from the charity Age UK has shown.
Age UK have reported low fixed incomes, food and electricity prices rising and older people missing out on benefits they are entitled to has lead to the massive number. Nearly one million of UK pensioners are living severely below the poverty line.

The report has shown that pensioners are missing out on £5.5 billion worth of benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing benefit and council tax support. Older people are also missing out on benefits linked to income and disability, leading people into more financial hardship as they have to deal with the extra pressures of disability without any financial help.

Older people don’t claim all the benefits they are entitled to due to the fact that some people have no idea that they are entitled them, and others are too proud or embarrassed to make a claim. Some have unsuccessfully tried before, or have been put off by the claiming process which they feel is too complicated or intrusive.

Age UK is now calling on the Government to provide a national training programme for health professionals and local authority staff to help older people who might be eligible to claim benefits such as Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance to help make the most of their income.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
'It is nothing short of a scandal that there are still so many vulnerable older people in the UK living in poverty – unable to afford decent food, heat their home or live an independent life – when billions of pounds in benefits are unclaimed.
'Now is the time for a concerted effort to help the very poorest pensioners – strong social support, affordable essential services and access to good quality information and advice are essential. We urgently need a comprehensive national strategy which sets firm targets and workable solutions to end the scourge of pensioner poverty once and for all.'

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