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Welfare Reform on the Web - January 2001: Pensions - UK

£5 PENSION RISE URGED AFTER JUMP IN INFLATION

B. Brogan

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 11th 2000, p. 1 & 2

Unions and pensioners' groups are demanding a rise in the state pension of more than £5.00 a week for single people and £8.00 for couples. However, increasing the basic pension by £5.00 a week would absorb most of the £2.4bn increase in the social security budget planned for financial year 2001/02, leaving the government with not enough to pay for increases promised in other help to the elderly.

(See also Independent, Oct. 11th 2000, p. 1; Financial Times, Oct. 11th 2000, p. 4)

THE CASE FOR CLARITY ON PENSIONS AND FUEL TAXES

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Oct. 23rd 2000, p. 25

Argues that government unpopularity with pensioners arises from their failure to state clearly their policy goal of targeting help on the poorest only at an earlier stage.

RETHINK PENSIONS, URGES OECD

Segall

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 8th 2000, p. 32

The OECD predicts that Britain will face a crisis in the funding of its state pensions due to a falling birth rate and an increase in life expectancy. By 2030 the OECD estimates that there will be only two people in work for every person aged over 65.

TRUE COST OF INCREASING OLD-AGE PENSIONS

J. Sefton and M. Weale

National Institute Economic Review, no. 174, Oct. 2000, p. 15

Taxpayers would face an increase in the basic rate of income tax of 5p in the pound if the link between old-age pensions and earnings were restored. NIESR has calculated that a 30-year-old man would see the net present value of his income tax payments rise by almost £15,000 after a restoration of the earnings link from 2001, while the discounted value of his state pension would rise by only about £7,200.

TORIES’ PENSION SNUB

J. Vasagar

Guardian, Oct. 13th 2000, p. 10 and 21

Reports that respondents to a poll run by Saga magazine rejected William Hague’s offer to boost the state pension by £3.50. Instead 72% preferred to keep the £150 winter fuel payment and the free television license for the over-75s.

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