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.”


Anonymous said...

Just over a year ago, I had the privilage of working with someone who was previously a district nurse in Cumbria.

She informed me that on several occations she had come across pensioners who's only form of heating was a 40 watt bulb. The pensioners would sit around with their hands clasped around the bulb.

I'm sure that this is equally as common in Wales as it is in Cumbria.

More recently, after quite a delay the Welsh Assembly Government has published figures on Fuel Poverty by ward, and boy-o-boy does it make disturbing reading!

Wards like Caerau, Oldcastle, Morfa, Pontycymmer, Blaengarw and Nantymoel have fuel poverty well over 18% (Bridgend County)

Within NPT County, the some parts of the following wards have fuel poverty over 18%, namely: Port Talbot Ward, Aberafan, Neath East, Neath North, Cymmer, Gwynfi, C-G-C, and Ystalyfera

Ian James Johnson said...

I hope that means you are supporting Plaid Cymru's universal pension policy at Pension Credit Guarantee level then.

Anonymous said...

Lib Dems can form their own policies; we don't need to borrow of the Welsh Nationalists.