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Pensioners: Income

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to increase the household incomes of pensioners. (259325)

The Government are committed to continuing to support pensioner incomes. To provide help to pensioners on the lowest incomes, the 2008 pre-Budget report announced an above indexation increase to the standard minimum income guarantee in pension credit in April 2009. This means no single pensioner need live on less than £130.00 a week in 2009-10 and no pensioner couple on less than £198.45.

A full basic state pension will increase by £4.55 to £95.25 a week in April 2009. To provide additional support sooner, an additional one-off payment of £60 for each pensioner is being made, equivalent to bringing forward the uprating of the basic state pension from April to January. To support those pensioners who pay income tax, the age-related tax allowances will rise in April 2009 to £9,490 for people aged 65 to 74 and to £9,640 for people aged over 75.

This support is in addition to other measures taken by the Government to assist pensioners, including the introduction of winter fuel payments, free eye tests and local off-peak bus travel, and free TV licences for households with someone aged over 75. The Chancellor keeps all tax and benefit rates under review as part of the Budget process.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to protect pensioners from the effects of recent reductions in interest rates on savings income. (259592)

The Government are committed to supporting pensioners through the global economic slowdown, providing support for all, but more for those who need it most. A range of measures was announced at PBR 2008 to support pensioners including an extra £60 payment, an increase in the pension credit by more than indexation, and further winter fuel payments of £200 for those aged 60+ (£300 for 80+). This is on top of the additional support announced in last year’s Budget.