Increasing number of over-70s face poverty

The economic slowdown is not just hurting those of working age.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service debt charity has found that 427,000 households in the over-70s age bracket are suffering financial difficulty.

The charity defines financial difficulty as being more than three months behind on debt repayments or at risk of being declared bankrupt. The plight of older people is challenging because of their limited options in increasing income. The CCCS found that 13 per cent of its clients aged 70-74, 9 per cent of those aged 75-79 and 8 per cent of those over the age of 80 have no money to repay their debts once they have covered the cost of their living expenses.

"While most people would hope to have paid off their mortgage and other debts by the time they are 70, this is a distant dream for a significant number of older people," said CCCS's director of external affairs Delroy Corinaldi.

Over the past decade, the numbers of pensioners living in the UK in poverty has declined by almost two million. However, most experts expect these inroads into poverty to be reversed over the next year or two mostly because of the effects of high inflation.

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