Azara Blog: Surprise, some pensioners are "just getting by"

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Date published: 2011/04/14

The BBC says:

Pensioners are finding it hard to cope with rising living costs, with 47% saying they are "just getting by", research suggests.

In a study for Age UK, 11% described themselves as finding it difficult or "really struggling" to cope.

The face-to-face survey of 1,258 people suggested 19% cut back on heating this winter in order to manage their money.

Age UK is launching a campaign for over-60s to claim all the benefits they are entitled to receive.

The research found some 26% pensioners said they were buying cheaper or less food and 19% going out less.

Among poorer pensioners, the figures rose to more than a third, or 35%, buying cheaper or less food, and 21% going out less.

A total of 11% said they were in debt through mortgage, credit cards or bank loans.

The findings were released to coincide with Age UK's More Money in Your Pocket campaign, which says as much as £5.4bn in pensioner benefits goes unclaimed each year.

This is typical of how an NGO works. They want to publicise something so they commission a survey, which might or might not be bona fide. It's hard to tell whether it was here, but it does not matter one way or the other because they can spin a story no matter what the result, and the BBC will give them free publicity, with no critical analysis. Here, the first thing the BBC should have asked is whether these results would have been any different if non-pensioners were surveyed. The BBC might not have noticed, but times are hard, and many people are "buying cheaper or less food" and "going out less".

The current generation of pensioners is provided much better for than the previous generation was and also much better for than the next generation will be. They also have been the biggest beneficiaries (as a group) of the crazy UK housing market, so are sitting on a huge pot of wealth (again, as a group).

So make sure benefits get claimed, but stop the ridiculous side show.

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