Monday, July 27, 2009

A third of British seniors in poverty

A third of British seniors are living in poverty according to new statistics. The European Commission says that 30 percent of UK pensioners are living below the poverty line, the fourth highest rate in all of Europe.

Advocates for the poor are urging for immediate action to tackle the problem.

From the Pocklington Post, we read more of the stats and the reaction.

Age Concern and Help the Aged called for ministers to act through measures such as reforming the benefits and pension system.

The figures come ahead of the Work and Pension Committee's review of Government efforts to tackle pensioner poverty, which is published on Thursday.

The EU research, which compared relative poverty in the 27 member states, showed nearly one in three UK over-65s were at risk of poverty in 2007, the same proportion as in Lithuania (30%).

It revealed that in most leading European economies, pensioner poverty levels were either below or slightly above the EU average of 19%.

While the UK fared better than the 51% in Cyprus (51%), Latvia (33%), and Estonia (33%), the figures show British pensioners are worse off than Romania, where 19% fell below the poverty threshold, Poland (8%) and France (13%). Pensioners in the Czech Republic are least likely to be living in poverty, with 5% below the threshold of an income of 60% of the national median, according to the figures.

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