In an attempt to obtain more comprehensive and accurate results, the government has announced new methods of calculating pensioner poverty.
The new Material Deprivation indicator will capture the key indicators of older people’s expectations that are part of everyday life.
“Income is very important, which is why restoring the earnings link for the basic state pension was one of the first things the coalition did when it came to power. However, we want to be able to take a more rounded view”, Mr. Steve Webb, minister for pensions.
“This new indicator raises important questions about how government and wider third-sector organisations could go beyond the issue of income to help transform lives. This is early days, but we are piloting ways to help older people overcome social isolation”, he added.
The new materials deprivation indicator is designed to complement the existing income-linked measures and takes into account a set of goods, services and experiences to calculate low standards of living.
The new indicators take into experiences such as social gatherings at-least once in a month, avail services like vacations away from home or buying goods such as replacing a cooker. The new set of indicators contains fifteen goods, services and experiences.
Pensioners will be asked if they have or can afford the goods, services and experiences and reasons for not being able to afford them. Their answers will decide if they can be categorized as materially deprived.
The new set of indicators will be used in conjunction with income-based poverty indicators.