Help the Aged has accused the government of overlooking older
people in its attempts to tackle poverty and social
The charity claims that the government’s social exclusion unit has
concentrated on young families, children and unemployed people of
working age, while ignoring older people.
It wants the unit to set specific timetabled commitments to help
pensioners. It also wants a pledge from government to eradicate
poverty among older people as well as child poverty by 2020.
Research by the charity found that in nine of England’s most
deprived areas 45 per cent of older people are living in poverty.
Growing Older in Socially Deprived Areas found almost half of those
had gone without buying clothes in the previous year and 15 per
cent had on occasion gone without buying food.
A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions denied
that pensioners were being neglected. “In 2002 we are spending an
extra £6bn a year, with £2.5bn on top for the poorest
third of pensioners,” he said.
He added that the minimum income guarantee meant no single
pensioner would have to live on less than £98.15 a week and
couples could be sure of at least £149.80.
Growing Older in Socially Deprived Areas from 020 7278 1114