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Report should be Blair's "wake-up call"

18th October 2005

The 'Opportunity for All' report released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should act as a "wake-up call to Tony Blair on pensioner poverty", says Help the Aged.

Commenting on the seventh annual report, Paul Cann, director of policy at Help the Aged said although it was a clear signal of the government's commitment to tackling social exclusion, much more work needed to be done on improving the lives of disadvantaged older people.

The report revealed that take-up levels of Pension Credit have flatlined at a time when one in six pensioners are living in poverty.

At the current rate Help the Aged says the 2006 take-up target would not be achieved until 2009.

"It's now time for the prime minister to give the fight to help disadvantaged older people the same energy and focus he has given to child poverty," Mr Cann said.

"With nearly a third of pensioners living in sub-standard accommodation and many struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis, ending pensioner poverty now would be a legacy 10 Downing Street could be proud of," he added.