ONE in five older people in Yorkshire are skipping meals to save money, a charity has revealed.
The alarming new survey by Age Concern and Help the Aged also shows that 43% of people aged 60 and over are struggling to afford essential items.
The poll revealed 57% of the Yorkshire residents are not confident the Government will help older people cope during the recession.
The merged charities say this means many pensioners are going to extreme measures to cope and in the process are putting their own health at risk.
They are now calling on the Government to ensure investment to help the economy also benefits older people.
The survey also showed that more than two thirds (39%) of older people in Yorkshire are cutting back on socialising, electricity (35%) and gas (36%).
And one in five (21%) people aged over 60 are cutting back on food.
Ahead of the Budget next week, Age Concern and Help the Aged are warning many older people – particularly the oldest and poorest pensioners – are among the worst hit by high prices.
The charity is also launching a More Money in Your Pocket campaign to help older people receive the benefits that are rightfully theirs.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: “Many older people in Yorkshire are being clobbered by high prices and pushed to extreme measures to cope financially– the Government cannot sit by while older people skip meals and put their health at risk.
“The state of the economy is the defining issue of our times and this year’s Budget will have many demands on it.
“But the challenge to Government is to ensure that older people, and older voters in Yorkshire, aren’t forgotten.”
The charity is calling for a package of measures to help low income pensioners with modest savings.
These include a commitment to move quickly to roll out automatic payment of income-related benefits, including pension credit, council tax benefit and housing benefit.
The Government is also being asked to introduce a package of measures to assist low income savers and keep winter fuel and cold weather payments at current levels.
Also on the charity’s budget wish list is a new comprehensive programme to improve the energy efficiency of housing stock and other urgent measures to tackle poverty.
It wants emergency funding of at least £1bn to enable local authorities to increase access to care services and allocate personal budgets sufficient to meet people’s needs.
For more information on the More Money in Your Pocket campaign visit www.ageconcern.org.uk/money.