PM hails rise in state pension
Published on 10 April 2012 09:30 AM
David Cameron has hailed a £5.30 weekly boost to state pensions that comes into force today as proof of the Government's 'commitment to older people'.
Basic rate payments will increase to £107.45 a week after inflation in September - the month when the uprating of benefits is set - hits 5.2%.
It comes after intense criticism of the Government's treatment of pensioners in the wake of last month's Budget.
Chancellor George Osborne announced he was 'simplifying' tax arrangements by phasing out age-related allowances, a move that was instantly dubbed the 'granny tax'.
Mr Cameron said: 'We owe older people in society our respect, our support and our care. That's why from the start I've made sure this government protects pensioners and gives them the help they need.
'I know these are difficult times - but my promise to pensioners is that we are on your side.'
The payment increase will cost the Treasury an extra £4.5 billion this year.
When additional pension payments are included, such as entitlements built up under the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPs), average state payments will now be £124 a week, according to officials
Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said: 'For all David Cameron's boasts, the state pension is simply keeping up with the high inflation his Government has delivered.'
Copyright Press Association 2012