Skip to content

The perils of relative poverty

The number of pensioners living in poverty in Britain is among the highest in Europe with the over-65s in poorer countries, including Romania and Poland faring better, official figures have shown.

Oh aye?

That is, of course, measured by relative poverty within the country.

No account is taken of the difference in living standards between the countries. Which is how you get pensioners in the UK are worse off than those in Romania.

I was a little surprised to see how high pensions were in Romania. 628 New Lei on average, or £129.

A couple of things need to be said about this. They\’ve doubled them in the past year or so which is of course nice for pensioners. It\’s also true that this is not just the state pension, this is also the occupational pension from the Communist years, so it doesn\’t translate quite directly to the UK\’s OAP.

And of course we also need to adjust (and I\’m not going to look up the figures) for purchasing power parity and so on, for the bald figures rather flatter the minimum pension guarantee here of £115 or whatever it is.

Oh, one other detail. The Romanian pension is per month, the UK per week.

Isn\’t the difference between relative income and absolute income fascinating?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *