Published on 01 June 2011 08:30 AM
Responding to newspaper reports this morning that the number of Welsh families gaining from inheritance windfalls is set to decline, Age Cymru’s Graeme Francis, says:
“For Age Cymru, these figures demonstrate that people’s expectations in Wales of being able to live comfortably in retirement, and therefore their expectations of later life in general are significantly lower than anywhere else in the UK.
“It is concerning that less people in Wales expect to be able to leave an inheritance for their children or dependants by the time they have paid for their retirement than people in other parts of the UK.
“Pensioner poverty is already a big problem in Wales, with a higher proportion of over 65s here living in poverty than in the rest of the UK.
“It is a scandal that 115,000 older people in Wales are currently living with the difficulties that poverty brings - such as being unable to afford basic essentials such as eating and heating, while the cost of living continues to rise and older people are hit hard by spending cuts.
“Some of the reasons for this are that Wales has generally had high levels of unemployment and lower average incomes than other parts of the UK over recent decades, which has made it difficult for many people to put money aside for retirement.
“Government programmes need to support and encourage people to save for their retirement and to ensure that they can maintain a reasonable level of income and afford additional expenditure such as the costs of care services many may need.
"It is vital that tackling pensioner poverty is a priority for both the UK and Welsh Governments. “