Commenting on the increase in Pension Credit in Wednesday’s budget, local Liberal Democrat candidate Jo Swinson said: “This Budget is little more than a sticking plaster for the election. This increase will be welcomed by pensioners but the Chancellor still has done nothing to fundamentally fix pensioner poverty.
“Why does he offer a pension that is 25% below the poverty line – then make them jump through hoops to get their head above water. We are still in a situation in which 2 in 5 pensioners eligible for Pensions Credit do not claim it – that’s over 2500 pensioners in our area.
“There is now an urgent need to introduce a Citizen’s Pension that ends the discrimination against women and ends means testing for the oldest pensioners.”
Jo also criticised Gordon Brown for failing to adequately sort out Council Tax:
“The increase in help for pensioners to pay Council Tax will be welcomed by pensioners but the Chancellor still has done nothing to fundamentally fix this deeply unfair system.
“Under Liberal Democrat plans, 6 million pensioners will not pay Local Income Tax and an average single pensioner will benefit by £209 a year.”