Poverty rates among older Londoners are significantly higher compared to the rest of the country, according to a report published today by charity Age UK London.
The figures show that 25per cent of older Londoners live in poverty, compared to 18per cent in the rest of England.
And they have also found that 20per cent of older Londoners are in fuel poverty, compared to 15per cent in the rest of England.
This latest-available data was collected before the pandemic. Describing the figures as “alarming”, Age UK London said today, “It is likely that poverty will increase even further in the current economic climate.”
Age UK’s charity workers already report increasing requests for help with fuel bills, or simply to buy winter coats and blankets.
The report’s data has been released ahead of London Challenge Poverty Week, which begins on October 17.
“These findings are alarming,” said Abigail Wood, Age UK London’s CEO.
“They show that even before the pandemic the number of older Londoners falling into poverty was rising. Age UK London is concerned that the current cost of living and energy crisis is set to push thousands more over the poverty line.
“It is also worrying to see a growing gap between the number of older Londoners who can afford a basic standard of living and older people in the rest of the country.”
In the report, it shows:
- 25% of older Londoners (over-50s) live in poverty, compared to 18% in the rest of England
- 20% of Londoners in their 50s are in fuel poverty, compared to 15% in the rest of England
- The proportion of pensioners in London living below the minimum income standard is 7 percentage points higher than for the rest of England. Ten years ago the gap was only 2 percentage points.
- 12% of older Londoners are experiencing food insecurity, compared with 8% in the rest of England.
Housing tenure makes a huge difference and poverty rates for older private renters are twice as high as homeowners and three times higher than those of social tenants, with 44per cent living in poverty.
“Many of the powers to address this problem sit with Westminster,” Wood said.
“But Age UK London calls on the Mayor of London and local authorities to do all that they can to support older Londoners who are struggling to make ends meet.”
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