Putting pensioner poverty in context

In Politics UK today:

During questions to the department for work and pensions, Labour MP Holly Lynch told a story of how she had received a letter from an elderly constituent who was just above the benefit threshold and who is complete desperation. “I cannot afford to live” he said, and signed the letter of as ‘Yours, truly, broken.’


Lynch is the MP for Halifax.

Context is always important if rarely there in journalism.

Here are two pieces:

First, while pensioner poverty is always to be deplored, other groups are more likely to be in poverty. See:


Second, while pensioner poverty in Scotland is unacceptably common, it is less so than in England or Wales where Conservative and Labour governments are responsible. See:


Why is pensioner poverty lower in Scotland? Free prescriptions, bus passes and more affordable housing?


5 thoughts on “Putting pensioner poverty in context

  1. The UK is currently reducing the amount of Total Public Spending spent on pensions :
    2022-23 – 10.4 % , down from 11.1 % in 2021-22 .
    ( 5.5% of GDP – the AVERAGE across the EU is approx 12 % )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When the old age pension is half that of the living wage it tells you all you need to know about the governments attitude to pensioners – either work until you die or die on the breadline unless you are fortunate enough to have a private pension or public services pension to top it up. Given the colossal failure of private pensions over the last twenty years it’s not surprising that even people with a private pension have difficulty as they more often than not are paying out significantly less than the government pension.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. UK pensions/benefits £250Billion. Higher because of COVID. Administration costs £240Billion. Funding COVID. £270Billion over two years. £370Billion over a lifetime. If pensions were increased benefits and admin costs would fall.

    UK Gov revenues £800Billion. Spent £900Billion. UK Gov Accounts 2019/20. Published June 2022.

    Scotland pays it’s own pension/benefits from monies raised in Scotland. £70Billion a year.
    UK Gov spending – funding included monies spent on COVID. Borrowed?

    Increased Defence spending £5Billion. Instead of increasing essential healthcare funding.


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