- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly member Joyce Watson has attended the launch of a new report that sheds light on the lives of older people living in poverty in Wales.
The Labour Mid and West Wales AM joined Pembrokeshire resident Mansel Thomas at a special event at the National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay (13 May).
Mrs Watson said:
“The report describes in distressing detail the daily realities faced by older people living on low incomes.
“The poverty rate for people aged 65 or over in Wales is less than the UK average – Welsh government policies like free bus travel, free prescriptions and support for people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes are helping. However, rising costs of food and fuel, on top of historically low interest rates and plummeting annuity rates, have hit older people’s pockets.
Mr Thomas, who is chair of the South East Pembrokeshire Community Health Network, is a supporter of Age Cymru, the charity that produced ‘Life on a low income’.
According to the report, 84,000 older people in Wales live in poverty – about 14% of everyone aged 65 or over. Of these, 50,000 experience ‘severe’ poverty. This means a weekly income of £183.50 or less. According to Age UK, 16 percent of pensioners in the UK live in poverty.