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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2000): Pensions - UK

BLAIR URGED TO BUY BACK THE PENSIONER VOTE

J. Laudale, L. Peek and G Jacob

Times, May 15th 2000, p. 1 + 10

A Survey of 150 Labour councillors ousted in the recent local government elections showed that 78% believed that anger over the government's niggardly £0.75 rise in the state pension caused the loss of their seats. Government points out that pensioners have been helped by the increase in the Winter fuel allowance, free TV licences for the over-75s and the cut in VAT on fuel. Pensioners are also likely to receive a £2.00 per week rise in line with inflation this Autumn.

(See also Independent , May 16th 2000, p. 8)

BROWN WILL WOO 'GREY VOTE' WITH £2 INCREASE IN PENSIONS

P. Waugh

Independent, Apr. 28th 2000, p. 1

In response to criticism of this year's miserly £0.75 per week rise in the state pension, the government promises that it will go up next year by £104 for a single person and £156 for a married couple even if inflation is lower than expected.

(See also Times, Apr. 28th 2000, p. 4)

PENSIONS TO RISE BY UP TO £5 A WEEK

P. Toynbee and M. White

Guardian, May 10th 2000, p. 1

Reports government moves to placate pensioners angered by the £0.75 rise in the basic pension in 2000. Ministers accept that the £2-3 a week increase expected in the inflation-linked rise due in the Winter of 2001 will not be enough to regain support. The winter fuel allowance may be raised again to £200 or more, and a new pensioner credit targeted at those with modest savings or a small occupational pension is being developed.

(See also Financial Times, May 10th 2000, p. 7)

TO STAY ON TOP, TONY HAS TO HELP THE AGED

P. Riddell

Times, May 8th 2000, p. 18

There is serious discontent among pensioners about this year's niggardly rise of £0.75p in the basic pension and government policies of targeting help only at the poorest through the minimum income guarantee and of encouraging people to save more for their old age. Government is developing a pensioners' credit which will give those who have saved during their working lives a top-up from the state. However, this scheme will not be implemented until after the next election.

(See also Independent Review, May 8th 2000, p. 4)

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