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Many pensioners 'struggling to afford basics'

22nd October 2008

Many pensioners are struggling to afford even the basics of everyday living, a charity has warned.

Even though the official inflation rate is high, it does not reflect the true increased cost of living being experienced by millions of pensioners, said Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern.

He suggested that the average pensioner is currently experiencing an inflation rate of 7.4 per cent, amid "soaring" food and energy prices.

Mr Lishman stated that the "real" inflation rate experienced by pensioners should be taken into account when next year's pensions and pension credit rates are reassessed.

He has urged the government to "respond to these exceptional times by introducing an emergency package of measures to help the most vulnerable pensioners through this winter".

Meanwhile Help the Aged has said it is vital that older people obtain all of the benefits to which they are entitled.

The charity's incomes policy officer Louise Ward-Bergeman stated that more than £5 million worth of benefit payments are left unclaimed each year.

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