Tom Blenkinsop MPThe Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed the proportion of pensioners living in poverty in the North East has increased.

The latest official figures show that the increases in pensioners living in low income households are the highest of any region of England.

This confirmation followed a question to the minister from Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

Tom Blenkinsop said:

“While the percentage increases we are talking about here are small, they represent thousands of individuals in the North East and many in my constituency.

“The overall national picture shows poverty amongst pensioners hasn’t changed, yet the North East has seen an increase. As with so many issues, it seems as though the Tories are neglecting our region.

“Pensioners are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and this data shows that this government’s policies are failing them in the North East and in my constituency.”

The figures, released at the end of June, measure poverty in terms of those living in low income households.

They show that the proportion of pensioners living in relative poverty has increased by 2 percentage points – the highest increase of any region in England. During the same period in some regions of England, like the East of England, the percentage actually fell. The same figures also show there was a 1 percentage point rise in the number of pensioners living in absolute poverty – the joint highest of any English region.