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Monday, June 10, 2013

Labour to target pensioners

One of the turning points in the New Labour days was the decision in 1999 to increase old age pensions by a mere 75p a week the following year at a time when other costs such as Council Tax benefit were soaring at a much higher rate. It is an insult still felt keenly by many pensioners along with the fact that a so-called progressive government failed to relink the state pension to the cost of living.

The Coalition Government has done much better. Thanks to pension minister, Steve Webb and the Liberal Democrats we now have a triple lock guarantee in place. As a result the State pension will rise by the highest of inflation, the rise in earnings or 2.5% each year. That means that in April 2013 the full state pension went up by 2.5%. That is on top of the £5.30 a week rise last April and the £4.50 a week rise in 2010. Pensioners on the full state pension are now £650 a year better off than they were under Labour.

In the face of this, I am astonished that the Shadow Chancellor has now signalled that he plans to take Labour back to the days when they treated pensioners with such contempt by announcing that if he gets back into power he will cap the old age pension. Whatever happened to the Labour Party that used to champion the cause of the old and the poor?
Probably worth re-reading the article. They are not proposing removing the triple lock but including pension spending in the overall amount to be capped.
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