Age UK responds to new poverty (Household Below Average Income 2017/18) figures
Published on 28 March 2019 10:00 PM
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “We are deeply concerned that 2 million older people are now living below the poverty line - a 1% rise on last year that means pensioner poverty is at its worst since 2007/8.
“These new figures show that women, the oldest old and BME groups are at particular risk of poverty in later life and it’s important that more help is targeted to help them.
“Unfortunately two Government policy changes will undoubtedly make the position worse for the poorest older people: the ending of any Government funding for free TV licenses for over 75s from 2020, and the removal of the entitlement to pension credit for couples where one partner is above and the other below State Pension Age in a few weeks time.
“On the back of these worrying figures we call on the Government to do more to ensure everyone has a decent retirement income and reversing these two proposed policy shifts would be a very good start.
“We also need to keep in mind that as much as £3.5bn in financial help is going unclaimed by older people every year when this extra money could make a real difference to their everyday lives. We would urge any older person with money worries to contact Age UK by calling our free advice line on 0800 169 6565 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk for information and advice.”
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Notes to editors
 An ‘older household’ for the purposes of the BEIS fuel poverty figures being used in the press release is defined as ‘a household where the oldest person is aged 60 or over’.
 Age UK calculation: Based on the End Fuel Poverty Coalition’s fuel poverty projections (available here: http://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/price-cap-methodology/) combined with BEIS statistics on the proportion of fuel poor households where the oldest person is aged 60+ (available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-statistics#2019-statistics).
 BEIS, 2021. Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics in England, 2021 (2019 data). Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-detailed-tables-2021. [Accessed 03/11/21]. LILEE data, table 22.
 DWP (29 October 2020). Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up 2018-19: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up--2
 25,681 people in total have told Age UK that they are worried about their energy bills. The time frame for campaigners saying they’re worried about bills is 21st Oct – 14th November 2021.
 To date, 6,536 Age UK campaigners have written to their MP to raise their concerns about energy issues. The timeframe for the MP action is Thursday 18th – Wednesday 24th November 2021.
We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).