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Over-75s risk losing most from cuts
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:21 pm
Posts: 1457
Location: Hampshire
Cuts to the benefits and services that older people rely on the most could put half a million lives at risk, warns Age UK ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Amid increased evidence on how the predicted spending cuts could affect older people, Age UK is urging the Chancellor to honour his promise to protect society’s poorest and most vulnerable.

Our recent findings show that if the spending cuts follow predictions, the poorest over-75s will lose an average of £2,030 worth of public services a year by 2014/15, the equivalent to about a third (33.7%) of their household income.

Our research also reveals that a funding gap of £2.2bn will open up in the next four years if social care spending is cut by 25 per cent; this would leave 500,000 of the most frail and vulnerable older people without the vital home-based care they rely on to stay safe and well.

There is solid cross-generational consensus for protecting old age benefits, with three out of four people in favour of protecting older people’s access to free NHS treatment, Winter Fuel Payment and Attendance and Disability Allowance.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

'People over 75 are among those least able to protest against spending cuts, but the cuts could hit them the hardest.'

'Social care and support is not a "nice-to-have" extra. Older people, and their loved ones, are rightly angry that the essential frontline services they have come to count on are at risk of being taken away.'

'George Osborne promised to protect society’s most vulnerable from the worst of the cuts, but slashing social care budgets or old age benefits will impact precisely on the poorest, frailest and most isolated older people.'


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