By: Ben Glaze.
See original post here.
Pensioners should be guaranteed a minimum £200-a-week payout as the cost of living crisis grips Britain, campaigners urge tonight.
The Silver Voices group, which spearheaded the fight for over-75s’ free TV licences, wants the Government to set a new floor for the amount OAPs receive as households are engulfed by soaring energy costs, runaway inflation and food price hikes.
A petition it launched on the Government website demands a £200-a-week “minimum pension guarantee” to “be set for all state pensioners, irrespective of gender, marital status or contribution record, to remove anomalies in the pension system, including the growing discrepancy between the old and new state pensions”.
The petition, signed by more than 13,500 people, claims that “in September 2020 only 6% of state pensioners received the top rate of the new state pension”.
It adds: “The UK provides the worst state pension in the developed world, which is insufficient for life’s essentials, particularly with surging energy and food prices.
“After a lifetime of tax and national insurance contributions, older people deserve a minimum income of £200 per week without recourse to the benefits system.”
The petition has already crossed the threshold to trigger a Government response, due this week.
Silver Voices director Dennis Reed told the Mirror: “The steps taken so far to support millions of struggling pensioners are minimal in the context of the cost of living catastrophe approaching this autumn.”
A Department of Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “This year we will spend over £110 billion on the state pension.
“The full yearly amount of the basic state pension is over £2,300 higher than in 2010 and the vast majority of people in receipt of it also get additional income from either an occupational/private pension, if they were contracted out, or the additional state pension – and many get a combination of the two.”