Pensioners in Scotland are more likely to be living in poverty than their counterparts across the rest of the UK, according to a new set of figures.
An in depth report from an organisation called the Social Metrics Commission has said that there are now close to 14.2 million people living in poverty across the UK, including 4.5 million children.
According to the report, levels of poverty are generally lower among Scots than across the UK as a whole but not when it comes to pensioners, with older generations in Scotland apparently finding it particularly difficult to get by.
Poverty rates are understood to have decreased considerably among pensioners across the UK over the past 15 years but among pension-age couples in Scotland, financial situations are believed have worsened during that time period.
“CAB advisers often see older people who are struggling financially,” Rob Gowans from Citizens Advice Scotland told the Scotsman.
“One of the problems we’ve found is that older people often don’t claim the benefits they are entitled to, either because they are unaware of them or because of perceived stigma,” he said.
The Social Metrics Commission is aiming to introduce a new measure of poverty that takes into account of “the inescapable costs that reduce people’s spending power” into general use across the UK.
According to the commission, the nature of poverty is changing and a new poverty measure is therefore needed to better inform policy making decisions that might help to alleviate some of the associated issues.
“We all want to live in a society where people have the resources to meet their needs, and to open up opportunities for people to build a better life,” said Helen Barnard from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in a statement.
“We call on the government, the Office for National Statistics and all of those working to solve poverty, to support this new measure of poverty and concentrate now on taking action to loosen the grip of poverty on people’s lives.”
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More than a third of workers in Scotland are fearful that they might lose their jobs at some point over the next 12 months.
Large numbers of households across Scotland could be facing serious financial problems once the option to defer their bills or their debt repayments ceases to be available.
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