A British charity organization says 1.6 million pensioners in Britain live in poverty, as many of them miss out on entitled government benefits.
The Age UK charity released a report on Thursday, saying 900,000 of the pensioners live in “severe poverty.”
According to the charity, hundreds of thousands of British pensioners are struggling to pay for basic needs such as heating, fresh food, and warm clothes during the winter.
The report said one of the main problems for the affected pensioners is that they do not receive benefits that they are entitled to under government schemes.
British elders are missing out on entitled benefits such as pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit, the report added.
“It is nothing short of a scandal that there are still so many vulnerable older people in the UK living in poverty…when billions of pounds in benefits are unclaimed,” said Caroline Abrahams, the charity’s director.
The charity called for the government to increase pensioners’ awareness of their entitlements, to ensure they have all the information they need to receive benefits and to reduce the complexity of claim forms.
In response, a spokesman of the Department for Work and Pension said the department was determined to assist pensioners to claim their entitled benefits and to make sure that they “receive the full support they are entitled to with as little hassle as possible.”
The charity’s report comes just days after a separate report showed a rise in financial inequality in the UK, with Britain being the only country among the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations where inequality has grown since 2000.
According to the report by Credit Suisse, the UK’s richest 10 percent control 54.1 percent of the