Category Archives: poverty

Nearly three million over-65s are struggling to cope with bills and everyday expenses, an Age UK report has found.

While latest government figures show 800,000 pensioners are living in ‘material deprivation’, the charity’s report has warned a worrying number can’t even afford a basic standard of living.

Last year the number of pensioners living below the poverty line rose to 1.9 million – with 945,100 retirees stating they would not be able to replace a cooker if it broke down.

Over 1.2 million added that they have no access to a car and can’t afford a taxi to get around – including to hospital appointments.

A further 286,300 revealed they routinely worry about monthly bills – and are struggling to manage a life out of the red.

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Pensioners hit hardest by £9BILLION welfare spending cuts

shock report reveals that a quarter of welfare cuts fall on pensioner households with pension credit, attendance allowance and diability living allowance for OAPs.
Savage spending cuts will soar to nearly £9billion a year, hitting pensioners hardest, a shock report reveals today.

The study shows PM David Cameron has broken his pre-election pledge to protect the elderly, with a quarter of welfare cuts falling on pensioner households.

The Tory-led Government’s biggest cut is a £3.8billion-a-year reduction in pension credit, which tops up weekly income to a guaranteed minimum.

Other cuts include a £138million-a-year reduction in the value of attendance allowances – paid to those who look after relatives – and £340million off disability living allowances for OAPs.

A large chunk of the losses comes from switching the inflation measure used to set benefits each year from the Retail Prices Index to the lower Consumer Prices Index.

The cuts faced by pension households – single people or couples where at least one person is of pension age and where no adults work – will be worse after the next election.

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Struggling pensioners tempted to beome ‘granlords’

Around one in five retirees are considering renting out a room in their homes as they struggle to get by on just their pension, research has found.

The latest figures suggest that around half of all Britons over the age of 65 now have a hard time living the life they want with just their pension to support them financially.

Given this, insurer More Than has reported a notable rise in ‘Granlords’, older people choosing to rent out at least one bedroom in their homes to generate some much-needed extra cash.

Such a tactic is far from surprising, especially given that the company’s study also found that the average pensioner now only has around £35 a week for themselves once living costs and other essentials are factored in.

However, while growing numbers of older Britons may be benefitting from a little extra income, few of them know the responsibilities that come with being a landlord, with many potentially leaving themselves vulnerable to prosecution for flouting rules and regulations.

“After years of working, being forced to become a landlord after retiring is far from an ideal situation but it’s clear that many people are considering this to provide additional financial support,” commented Matthew Poll from More Than.

“For those looking to bring in a lodger, it’s important that they make sure they choose the right person but it’s also vital that they have the right cover and I’d urge anyone considering this to contact their insurer.”
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Is inflation making you poorer?

The rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation in the UK rose slightly to 3.1% in December, up from a rate of 3.0% the month before.

But your personal rate of inflation may not match the official rate of inflation. Use the BBC calculator to get a more accurate picture of how inflation affects you.

The calculator was developed with the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Information entered is safe, as it stays on your computer.

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Soaring fuel bills lead to fuel poverty warning to PM

Up to 9million families ‘will be in fuel poverty by 2016’ without action to insulate homes, campaigners warn PM

More than 100 energy firms, charities, unions and retailers demand tougher action to tackle ‘national disgrace’
6million families spend more than 10% of income on heating but could hit 9million by 2016 without action on energy efficiency
Government schemes ‘not enough’ to deal with soaring fuel bills
Big Freeze to last another four days causing chaos on the roads and trains
Soaring energy bills could force another 3million families into fuel poverty without urgent action from the government, David Cameron is warned today.

As temperatures plummet across Britain, an alliance of more than 100 energy firms, charities, unions and private business is urging the Prime Minister to order a massive programme to tackle the insulate homes across Britain.

Campaigners say 6million families already spend more than 10 per cent of their income on heating their homes – the definition of being in fuel poverty – but predict it could hit 9million within three years.

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Cameron will be punished by voters if he continues “irrational” protection of rich pensioners’ perks says Clegg

David Cameron will be punished by the voters if he continues his “irrational” protection of rich pensioners’ perks, Nick Clegg has warned.

During the 2010 election the Prime Minister guaranteed to continue free bus passes, winter fuel payments and free TV licences for pensioners for this Parliament. However, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the Tories would be “found out very quickly” if they tried to make the same promise before the next election in 2015.

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Our comment:We are inclined to think it is Nick Clegg who may be punished.

Fuel poverty could affect a further 300,000

Around 300,000 more households are likely to in ‘fuel poverty’ by Christmas thanks to recent increases in energy prices, according to an advisory body.

The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) is calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to take stronger and more ambitious action to tackle ‘spiralling’ fuel poverty levels.

The group said recent price rises have resulted in a 7% increase in average annual energy bills and direct debit customers now pay £1,247 per year, while those paying by cash and cheque pay £1,336.

Recent estimates have shown that over nine million households could be living in fuel poverty by 2016, according to the FPAG.

It said that nearly half of the households currently considered to be in fuel poverty – which is defined as having to spend over 10% of income on heating – are older people.

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