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Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

Council Housing (Portsmouth)

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to submit this petition, although I do so with somewhat disappointed feelings, on behalf of the council tenants in the Portsmouth city council area. They are disappointed that the Government continue to take many millions of pounds from them; the Government have taken £8.7 million, including £4.6 million this financial year, from the rents of the city council tenants for general Government expenditure. The tenants hope that the House will urge the Government to reverse that trend and take account of not only the campaign by Portsmouth city council tenants, but that of tenants throughout the country of England; the other parts of the UK are covered by separate legislation on this point.

The petition is submitted in the names of Mr. Stothard, Ms Jacqui Reardon, Ms Shai Hancock-Richardson and Olivia Cowburn. I am proud to present this petition.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Humble Petition of Portsmouth City council Tenants, and others,

Sheweth that the Government has taken £8.7 million including £4.6 million this financial year from the rents of Portsmouth City council tenants for general Government expenditure; and declares that this will continue for the next 30 years at an estimated cost of £500 million,

Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your Honourable House will urge the Government to revise this trend so that the rent from Portsmouth City council tenants is spent directly for their benefit,

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.]


State Pension

It gives me great pleasure to present a public petition on behalf of retired members of Unison’s south-east region branch, of pensioners and of others. As a former employee of Unison and co-chair of the Unison group of MPs, I clearly have an interest. However, I absolutely believe in what the petition is saying and have said so in this Chamber before now.

The petition states:

The Petition of the Retired Members Committee of the South East Region branch of Unison, pensioners, and others,

Declares that the 2008 basic state pension was set at £90.70 per week, while the official poverty level was set at £134 per week; further declares that if the state pension link to average earnings had not been broken by Margaret Thatcher’s Government, the state pension would stand at £139 per week; notes that pensioners receive only a 25 pence per week increase in their pension when they reach the age of eighty; further notes that the National Insurance Fund has a surplus of £38.5bn; and believes that these statistics speak for themselves.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to raise the state pension immediately to £139 and to restore the link to average earnings for future increases.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.