Cymru Older Peoples Alliance – COPA – are today joining over 70 organisations across the UK in supporting a Statement of Intent to shine a light on pensioner poverty and its serious impacts.

In Wales, an estimated 84,000 older people live in poverty, 1 in 6, with many of those in ‘severe’ poverty. This means a weekly income of just £183.50 or less. This contests the mistaken stereotype that all older people have done well out of life. Many more are “just getting by” and face significant problems from cost of living and fuel rises.

The Statement of Intent published by Independent Age highlights that people of all ages and walks of life can experience poverty; financial struggles and that it is unacceptable that anyone should live in poverty. Poverty deprives people of their choices, forcing them to make difficult decisions that can negatively impact their health, relationships, and dignity. COPA will unite with the other organisations and older people in their fight for a decent quality of life.

It is estimated that around 80,000 eligible households in Wales do not receive the Pension Credit they are entitled to. This means that over £200 million of Pension Credit is left unclaimed. Up to a third of the available financial support for older people is not claimed and poverty could be substantially reduced if this money was taken up. This would not only help older people but also the Welsh economy.

Information and advice services – like Age Cymru’s – supported by welfare benefits advice, can make a significant difference to the lives of older people. A concerted effort is needed by the UK and Welsh Governments as well as Local Authorities in Wales to raise awareness and support older people to make a benefit claim.  This is particularly so for Pension Credit and the range of additional benefits it unlocks.   There should be no embarrassment or stigma involved – these are entitlements.  Confidential advice is available to any older person.

The Statement of Intent can be accessed here

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