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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Government skewered on its own spin

The BBC have a good example this morning of what happens when a government tries too hard to spin what seems to be a good news story plucked from adversity to its own advantage and overreaches itself in the process.

They reveal that the pre-Budget report pledge to raise the state pension will not apply to some parts of the pension - potentially saving the Treasury £350m in 2010/11 despite the fact that on Wednesday, Chancellor Alistair Darling said the "basic state pension" would rise by 2.5% in April.

The pensions minister has admitted that the rise will not apply to extras such as the state earnings related pension (Serps). Angela Eagle says this will prevent "confusion and unfairness" because Serps affects company pension payments. But the BBC's Money Box programme has learned that the freeze will extend to other parts of the state pension which do not affect company payments at all.

The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that the small earnings-related supplement called graduated pension, which is paid to more than 10 million people, will also be kept at this year's level. It is likely that the additional pension of £57.05 paid to 41,000 men who have wives under 60 will not rise either.

The BBC say that also under threat is the increase in the extra pension of £7 a week paid to 1.2 million over 60s who have delayed their retirement. That could also be included in the freeze policy when details are revealed on Monday.

The outcome therefore is that millions of pensioners will not get the 2.5% uplift which they may believe that they were promised and are expecting. It will not go down well just before a General Election.
It's time for an election, Labour has proved to me it has totally nothing left, and Brown is trying to be a statesman giving away money we have not got, then telling people it will come from other money which is used for poverty in Africa, It's time for change before labour talks down a road we will never recover from.
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