According to figures the UK has the fourth poorest pensioners in the EU.

Statistics from the European Commission have revealed that we have the poorest over 65s, behind countries like Romania.

The figures have revealed that many of the UKs pensioners are living on incomes that are far below the national average and Age Concern and Help the Aged have lobbied ministers to help.

The Department for Work and Pensions has fought back, saying that even those really bad off pensioners, are living better off than pensioners in other countries. According to a spokesperson, in 1997, the income of pensioners was well below the European average, but today UK pensioners enjoy an income that is 10% higher than EU average.

In 1997 it is claimed that 1 in 3 UK over 65s were living in poverty, which was the same percentage as those in Lithuania.

According to the figures, most leading European countries pensioners were either living below or slightly above the EU average of 19%.

Age Concern and Help the Aged are deeply troubled by these figures, knowing that although things have improved slightly, things seem to have now drastically stalled.

The stall has been partly blamed on the introduction of means testing for benefits. It seems that the forms are confusing and long winded putting off those who need the benefits. In addition, it seems that many are just too proud to claim benefits.

The charities have also discovered that one in five people aged 60 and over have been skipping meals to save money, whilst two-fifths couldn’t even afford the bare essentials.

2.5 million Pensioners are living in poverty and because of Labour’s complicated means testing, many will stay in poverty. This is then only exacerbated by an increase in council tax and the current state of the UK economy.