Bare necessities cost pushes elderly towards debt

According to the Alliance Trust, inflation has hit the elderly with essentials such as food and drink accounting for twice the proportion of spending than that of the under-30s.

“We have found the eldest householders are still the ones who are suffering the highest inflation rate,” said research centre head Shona Dobbie.

“This is because they spend a far higher proportion of their outlays on basic necessities such as food and drink, housing, electricity and gas and these are among the goods that have been rising in price most steeply.”

In the report, the gap between inflation of the elderly and the young between 2004 and 2006 rose to an average of 53 per cent.

Ms Dobbie said that this increase was “a cause for concern” as pensioners typically had a lower income than other age groups.

Due to the findings on pensioner debt, Ms Dobbie said that it would now be “inappropriate” for pensions to be linked to an average rate of inflation.

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