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Author: Age Scotland
Published on 20 May 2010 03:30 PM

Age Scotland welcomes the release of statistics in the Scottish Government’s Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2008/09 report, issued today, which reveal:

  • Between 2007/08 and 2008/09 the percentage of pensioners in Scotland living in relative poverty (before housing costs) fell from 21 to 16 percent, a reduction of 50 thousand individuals.
  • Over this period the percentage of pensioners in absolute poverty (before housing costs) also fell, from 13 to 9 percent.
  • Pensioner poverty rates in Scotland fell between 1998/99 and around 2004/05. Between 2004/05 and 2007/08 there was little change in these rates.

Charity spokesman Lindsay Scott said, “These reductions are extremely welcome but there’s a long way to go to help the 150,000 Scottish pensioners still struggling below the poverty line. We believe that the good work of successive Scottish Governments in addressing fuel poverty has played a role in driving down this figure, as has the Council Tax freeze, which we are hopeful will be extended for another year.

“The new UK government’s commitment to re-link the state pension to earnings from April 2011 with a “triple guarantee” will also play a crucial role in combating pensioner poverty. 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.

“Given the current economic climate, there are clearly huge challenges ahead for both the new UK government and the Scottish Government, but now is the time to renew the fight against pensioner poverty and commit to eradicating it once and for all.”

For more information: Call the Age Scotland helpline: 0800 12 44 222