| 3.9°C Belfast

Northern Ireland ‘has highest level of OAPs in poverty’

More older people are living in poverty in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK.

The number struggling is on the increase as the recession bites. Charity Age Northern Ireland said almost a quarter were too poor. The group wants to see benefits like winter fuel payments protected.

Anne O’Reilly, Age NI chief executive, said: “If we do not address the needs of the older population today then we risk storing up even greater problems at an even higher cost to the public purse in the future.”

A total of 23% of elderly people in Northern Ireland are living in poverty, an increase of 2% on last year's figures, compared to 16% across the rest of the UK. By 2030 more than a quarter of the population will be aged over 60.

Ms O’Reilly said while rates of poverty among groups like children and working-age adults had reduced in some cases, older people were still at risk.

Belfast Telegraph