The basic state pension’s not enough!

The basic pension was never enough and was further undermined by Thatcher 1980 and now Theresa May 2017    – How read on.

Those advocating axing the annual rise in the Basic State Pension through the triple lock should be aware first that “One in six older people in Britain and Northern Ireland live below the poverty line and up to 6 million have an income of less than £11,000 a year.”

The National Pensioners Convention points out that a very real reduction in value that the BSP suffered when the link with earnings was broken by the Thatcher government in 1980. and linked to prices. This meant by 2012 when the triple lock was introduced, the BSP’s figure of £97.65 which would have been £161.30 a week had the earnings’ link still been in place.

This remained th same until 2012 when the David Cameron Tory government introduced the triple lock of RPI, average wage or 2.5 % which ever the highest

Many now argue that the the triple lock has done its job with the state pension now being too generous. In the six years the lock has been in place the minimum of (2.5%) has been used three times and twice by the prices and once on wages.

That doesn’t mean either that pension’s annual increase hasn’t been reduced. In 2012 the CPI replaced the RPI the CPI being lower. In April 2017 the rise is reduced again with the second (SERPS) and the Graduated pensions increase cut to 1% from the normal same as basic pension increase.

Far from having done its job, the triple lock is still needed to ensure that the gap between pensioners’ incomes and the rest of society does not widen. The simplest and fairest way of doing this is through improving the state pension for all pensioners – taking it to a level which is 70% of the living wage.

What is needed is a state pension in the UK set above the official poverty level, at around £200 a week and linked to the triple lock.

The UK’s state pension is among the worst in the developed world (ranked as 32nd out of 34 OECD countries) and successive governments have allowed it to deteriorate. All older people, both now and especially future generations need a guaranteed income on which

Roy Jones of the NUJ’s 60+ Council.

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