P R E S S R E L E A S E
“New figures show at least 500 pensioners in Runnymede and Weybridge will only get an 87p state pension rise,” according to Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge, Arran Neathey.
Mr Neathey has challenged local MP Phillip Hammond to be open and honest with pensioners after the recent government announcement;
On 4 December, the government announced the state pension would rise by £2.85 a week. But in the following days ministers were forced to admit up to 1.6 million pensioners would see a rise of just 87p in their state pension income.
“The Prime Minister announced the state pension would rise by £2.85 in April next year but now it seems, at least 500 pensioners in this constituency will receive a rise of just 87p,” says Arran Neathey.
“That not fair and it’s dishonest,” added Mr Neathey. “The Government have not been open and honest with pensioners in Runnymede and Weybridge about the state pension, saying one thing and doing another.”
Egham pensioner Bill Heal said, “I’m not sure how much I’ll get, but prices in the shops and my bills are going up by a lot more than 87 pence a week!”
In response Labour’s Arran Neathey said, “This is disgraceful. I am publicly calling on Phillip Hammond MP to ensure that our local pensioners are treated with respect and be upfront about the value of their pensions.”
1) For more information Contact Arran Neathey: firstname.lastname@example.org
2) On Thursday 4th December the government made a statement about the uprating of pensions and social security benefits for 2015-16.
’the basic state pension for 2015-16 will increase by the value of the third element of the triple lock, 2.5%. Even at a time when earnings growth remains constrained, we will not repeat the mistakes of the past, such as the 75p rise in 2000. From April 2015, the new basic state pension for a single person will be £115.95 a week, which is up by £2.85 a week, and we estimate that the basic state pension will be around 18% of average earnings—its highest comparative level for more than two decades. Thanks to the coalition commitment to the triple lock, a person on the full basic state pension will receive around £560 a year more in 2015-16 than if it had been uprated only by earnings during this Parliament. That commitment means that since coming to office, the coalition has increased the basic state pension by around £950 a year.’
But in the days following the statement the government were forced to admit that up to 1.6 million pensioners across the UK have seen their state pension rise by just 87p, rather than £2.85 which ministers first claimed.
3) The regional figure from government are the lowest possible estimate of the number of people affected: SOUTH EAST – At least 54,540 people affected
Source: (Figures in a row called: ‘savings credit only’ - http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/100pc/pc/pctype/ccgor/a_carate_r_pctype_c_ccgor_may14.html
4) Constituency figures are available in the first column here: http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/100pc/pc/ccparlc/ccptnr/pctype/a_carate_r_ccparlc_c_ccptnr_p_pctype_savings_credit_only_may14.html (the numbers need to be multiplied by 1000, e.g. Runnymede and Weybridge is at least 500 pensioners affected)
5) Who is affected: People who claim the Savings Credit element of pension credit, which is being reduced. Rather than being fair to a group of pensioners who have saved all their life to enjoy a little extra security in retirement, David Cameron's government has instead penalised these savers for their thriftiness.
6) Labour’s shadow pensions minister, Gregg McClymont MP said, “1.6 million pensioners who have done the right thing, worked hard and saved for a pension have been let down by the government. It’s time for David Cameron to come clean with pensioners in Runnymede and across the country about the future value of their state pension.”