New Labour's UK - pensioners starving? (see below)?
Posted in the Lyndhurst Forum
#1 Nov 14, 2013
New Labour's UK - pensioners starving?(see below)?Elderly skipping meals to save cash
3 hours 21 mins ago
Print Story Pensioners are skipping meals to save money on food during the recession, a shocking survey has found. Skip related content
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A poll of 1,200 people aged over 60 showed one in five misses a meal while two-fifths are struggling to afford essential items and are cutting back on electricity and gas and socialising.
Older people are not confident the Government will help them deal with the current recession and many are going to extreme measures to cope, putting their health at risk, Age Concern and Help the Aged said.
The newly-merged charity warned that many elderly people, particularly the poorest pensioners, are among the worst hit by high prices.
Those on low incomes face a far higher than average inflation rate and struggle to afford basic household essential items such as food and electricity, the report said.
The group's charity director Michelle Mitchell said: "Many older people are being clobbered by high prices and are being pushed to extreme measures to cope financially. The Government cannot sit by while older people skip meals and put their health at risk. The oldest and poorest pensioners are being hit particularly hard."
Ms Mitchell added: "The state of the economy is the defining issue of our times and this year's Budget will have many demands on it, but the challenge to Government is to ensure that older people, and older voters, aren't forgotten. Investment to stimulate the economy must also benefit them.
"In addition to any package of support for older people, the Government must commit to rolling out automatic payment of benefits."
Age Concern and Help the Aged called for a package of measures to be announced in next week's Budget to help low income pensioners with modest savings, including a commitment to move quickly to roll out automatic payment of income-related benefits including Pension Credit, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit.
Older people miss out on up to £5 billion in benefits each year, said the charity.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said food and fuel prices "appear to have peaked", adding that this month pensioners will receive the biggest increase in the basic state pension since 2001.
And he said: "We want older people to receive all the money they are entitled to and we've made it easier to claim. Pensioners can now claim pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit in just one free phonecall without having to sign or return any claim forms."
#2 Nov 14, 2013
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