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Inflation hits pensioners hardest

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Poor pensioners are facing an inflation rate more than three times greater than most of the population and need more government help, according to a leading charity.

Help the Aged and Age Concern said that the nation’s worst-off over 80s were enduring cost-of-living rises of 6.7%.

The newly merged charities have called on Chancellor Alastair Darling to include measures to aid the recession-hit predicament of older people in his next Budget.

A joint report from the charities has estimated that one in five pensioners live below the poverty line - suggesting that some pensioners struggle to afford proper food.

Michelle Mitchell, director of the organisation, said it was up to all political parties to improve the lot of older people.

"Loneliness, depression, poverty and neglect blight the lives of millions of older people and for many, evidence shows the situation is getting worse, not better,” she said.

“Attitudes to older people are stuck in the past, the care and support system for older people is on the brink of collapse and older people's experiences of isolation and exclusion have largely been ignored by successive governments.”

Among the measures the charity is calling for are:

  • £1bn boost to the social care system

  • Increase in the Warm Front grant

  • Targeted help for pensioners on low incomes

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