The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that pensioner poverty is now rising after falling steadily for two decades.
This is because of soaring rent rises and a freeze on benefits. There are now genuine fears that pensioners will be faced with choosing between buying food and paying for heating this winter.
The foundation’s chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: “Pensioner poverty is a problem that we thought had gone away.”
Approximately 20% of all pensioners rent their home, and the proportion is growing.
In the 1990's, pensioner poverty was much higher for single pensioners than pensioners in a couple, with the problem worse for women. In 1996/97, 42% of single female pensioners were in poverty while the high point for single male pensioner poverty was 34% in 1997/98.
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