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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fake news takes many forms. Misrepresenting or omitting facts is widespread in the Ageing Industry

The headline in the Guardian newspaper reads : "Pensioners now '£20 a week better off' than working households."

Blimey, you think to yourself. Here I am working away and the retired couple, living next door could be £1,000/year better of than me.

Needless to say the source of the data is the Resolution Foundation who has taken it upon themselves to be the voice of Millennials against their nasty parents. To be honest, that was a bit of fake news as well, although it is not far from the truth

If you read past the headlines then you discover this "£20 a week better off' is after taking into account housing costs. Mmmm, what exactly does that mean?

You then read a bit further and find this statement.

The report shows a sharp divide in wealth levels among pensioners. The top fifth of pensioner households account for 74% of employment income, 66% of investment income, and 52% of occupational pension income. In contrast, the poorest fifth of households are almost entirely reliant on benefit income.

Now this is the real news in the report. The top 20% of pensioners own the lion's share of the wealth and income. Another headline could be that "20% of pensioners are reliant on the basic state pension that is one of the lowest in Europe".

We all indulge in fake news and select the 'facts' that support our views and suppress or hide those that don't. Dick Stroud




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