New measure of pensioner poverty announced

Published on Monday, 09 May 2011 15:51
Posted by Scott Buckler

A new way of measuring older people’s quality of life will has been introduced by the Government today (May 9th)

A 'material deprivation' indicator for pensioners will capture wider elements of everyday life many that people take for granted but are in fact key indications of older people's experiences.

Pensions Minister, Steve Webb said:

"Income is very important, which is why restoring the earnings link for the basic State Pension was one of the first things the Coalition did when it came to power. However, we want to be able to take a more rounded view. This new indicator raises important questions about how Government and wider third-sector organisations could go beyond the issue of income to help transform lives. This is early days, but we are piloting ways to help older people overcome social isolation."

The material deprivation indicator uses a set of goods, services and experiences to capture low standards of living and is designed to complement existing income-based measures.

It will be used, alongside existing income-based measures in the Households Below Average Income Report published in May 2010 using data for 2009/10. Child poverty has been measured in this way since 2004/5.

Figures show that there is only a small overlap in pensioners who are materially deprived and those on a low income, and 670,000 pensioners who are materially deprived do not have a low income.


Source: DWP

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