Pension Credit: Yvonne on living on the breadline
Campaign group Silver Voices has called for the state pension to be increased to at least £320 a week, equivalent to £1,280 a month, to remove the need for pensioners to claim Pension Credit.
Pension Credit helps some Britons of state pension age with low income to top up their finances, increasing an individual’s income to £201.05 a week and couples up to £306.85 a week.
Silver Voices has said that Pension Credit to “plagued by a low take-up rate” and called for the Government to take “urgent” action to improve the welfare of Britain’s pensioners.
The full basic state pension is currently £156.20 a week and the full new state pension for those with at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions is £203.85 a week. Silver Voices director Dennis Reed has said that a minimum state pension amount of £320 a week, half the average weekly earnings figure for the UK, is “realistic and sustainable”.
He explained: “If political parties are serious about tackling pensioner poverty and stopping premature deaths through hypothermia and malnutrition, then they must introduce a pension which is sufficient for life’s essentials.”
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He continued: “No pensioner household, having paid their taxes and national insurance for all their working lives, should be forced to claim benefits in order to survive.
“Our proposal of a minimum state pension of £320 per week is realistic and sustainable, as it would be partly paid for by scrapping the flawed Pension Credit system.
“Every older person should receive a basic income sufficient to heat their homes and feed their households, without having to apply for a top-up benefit. Lip service by politicians to the right to a dignified retirement is no longer acceptable to senior citizens, they must deliver the wherewithal.”
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