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State Pension

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

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.