Our response to the latest poverty figures
Published on 20 May 2010 12:00 AM
Commenting on the Households Below Average Income figures, published today by the DWP, Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:
"It's extremely welcome that 200,000 pensioners have been lifted out of poverty but there's a long way to go to help the 1.8 million pensioners still struggling below the poverty line.
"The new government's commitment to re-link the state pension to earnings from April 2011 with a "triple guarantee" is a good start. However in the short-term the coalition must move quickly towards paying benefits automatically so that the poorest and most vulnerable older people receive all the financial help they're entitled to. Clearly there are huge challenges ahead for the new government but now is the time to renew the fight against pensioner poverty and commit to eradicating it once and for all."
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Notes to Editors
- There are 1.8 million pensioners in poverty (defined as below 60% of contemporary median income) this year (2008/09) - this number is down 200,000 (2 percentage points) from last year (2007/08) when there were 2 million pensioners in poverty. More detail on the statistics can be found on the Department for Work and Pensions' website. For further analysis, please contact Helen Spinney in the Age UK media team on the above contact details.
- Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI. For further information, please visit our About Us section.
Media contact: Helen Spinney
Tel: 020 8765 7502
Out of hours: 07071 243 243