Published on 08 June 2017 06:00 AM
Age Cymru is urging the new government to deliver a decent income for all older people and tackle the rising tide of pensioner poverty in Wales.
The charity says 112,500 pensioners in Wales now live below the poverty line and both single and pensioner couples in Wales have the lowest average incomes in the UK.
It warns that while the State Pension forms the bulk of most older people’s retirement income in Wales, this only amounts to an average of £7,000 a year - roughly half of the National Living Wage.
Secondly, the charity is urging the new UK Government to work with the Welsh Government to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people. Wales needs vibrant local communities with decent banking, leisure and shopping facilities that can be accessed without the need for complex and expensive IT equipment such as smart phones and tablets.
Thirdly, Age Cymru is pressing the new government to work with private companies and tackle the growing menace of financial scamming as more than half of the over 65s in the UK have been targeted by fraudsters. Our research finds that once an older person has been scammed their personal confidence and health can deteriorate quickly which can lead to a loss of independence and a need for residential care.
Ian Thomas, Chief Executive says, “It is important that the new UK Government prioritises pensioner poverty when setting out its work programme, particularly here in Wales where one in three older people survive on means-tested benefits.
“We know from our work with older people that abject levels of poverty often lead to further problems such as loneliness and isolation, poor physical and mental health, and a lack of opportunity to lead a fulfilled later life”.
Age Cymru is this week sending a copy of its 2017 General Election manifesto to all the MPs elected in Wales outlining the concerns and priorities of older people in Wales.