Charities urge government to support older people

The chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling has been urged to provide greater support to older people in his upcoming Budget speech.

According to Age Concern and Help the Aged, the over-60s have been disproportionately affected by the downturn in the economy, with low-income pensioners in particular struggling to make ends meet.

The charity groups also warned that people aged over 50 are among the most likely to be made unemployed during the current recession, although they have the added problem of being less likely to find another job.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, commented: "Many older people in London are being clobbered by high prices and are being pushed to extreme measures to cope financially."

Speaking to BBC News, she said the government cannot "sit by", especially while people skip meals in order to save money.

Mr Darling will deliver his keynote Budget speech in parliament next week.

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