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SPP 239

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP
Description: Drawing upon extensive survey research in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, this paper documents how pensioners differ from each other: two-fifths are married couples; more than a third are widows or widowers living alone; and more than a quarter live with adult offspring. Short-term difficulties in obtaining food, clothing or heat imply a need for benefits with a duration limited to weeks or months, and individuals should have to re-register a claim if they are continuously in need. The majority of people in households verging on destitution are not pensioners but men and women of working age or children. Any attempt to target poverty as a problem should not be confined to a single age group in society.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland