Thursday, January 28, 2010

Undignified pensions system traps many in poverty

Commenting on figures from the Office for National Statistics showing an estimated 2m pensioners in the UK are living in poverty with a further million in fuel poverty, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:

“Labour’s changes to the pension system have not protected many older people from the indignities of poverty.

“It is still the case that pensioners who are forced to rely on the state pension and Labour’s complex and undignified system of means-tested benefits are more likely to live in fuel poverty.

“The Conservatives presided over the erosion of the state pension in the 80s and it has never recovered.

“The basic state pension is simply too little to live on for the millions of pensioners who have no other income.

“We need a more generous, universal pension based on citizenship that would give pensioners a sense of dignity and a stable income in retirement.”

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