Cuts will hurt elderly people the most, says Age UK

30 Sep 10
Elderly people over the age of 75 will bear the brunt of the government's spending cuts, a leading charity warned today
By Lucy Phillips

30 September 2010

Elderly people over the age of 75 will bear the brunt of the government’s spending cuts, a leading charity warned today.

A study by Age UK found that households with someone over 75 will lose £2,200 worth of public services, equivalent to 14% of their income, per year by 2014/15. The very poorest households in this age group will be hit the hardest, losing a third of their income.

The charity warns that next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review will result in ‘serious losses’ for all households, with younger families with children and older pensioners suffering most. Families with children will lose out mainly through cuts to education while over-75s will largely be worse off because of cuts to social care and housing.

Michelle Mitchell, Age UK’s charity director, said: ‘As people in later life are generally poorer and more dependent on public spending than other groups, they risk bearing the brunt of swingeing cuts unless government decisions are taken fairly and cautiously.

She added that as the coalition had promised to safeguard age-related entitlements and protect the most vulnerable in society when it entered government, the chancellor would ‘not be quickly forgiven’ if he failed to live up to these commitments.

The charity’s research also showed that a funding gap of £2.2bn will open up over the next four years if the government cuts social care spending by 25%, as expected. It claims this would leave half a million vulnerable older people without vital home-based care.

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