Sunday, 19 April 2009

Green Party Pension Pledge

The Green Party has announced its key election pledge for pensioners - a £165 a week non-means-tested citizens' pension for every pensioner in the UK. The pledge will form part of the Green New Deal for Older People,which the Green Party will launch in the build-up to this year's European elections.

Felicity Norman, Green MEP candidate for the West Midlands who is speaking at rally in Birmingham’s Victoria Square said: "The Green Party today calls for possibly the best action a political party could take for British pensioners: a policy that would lift all our pensioners out of poverty."

For 2007/8 this would have meant a single person’s pension of £151 per week - compared to the actual full state pension of £90.70 and a pensions credits guarantee level of about £120 a week.

The The National Pensioners Convention has recently pointed out that:
- Between 1997 and 2006, the number of British people living in severe poverty – defined as living on less than 40% of median population income – increased by 600,000.
- Last year the poorest quarter of UK pensioner households saw their incomes rise by less than 1%, well below inflation. The poorest single pensioners saw their real incomes drop by 4%.
- At least 15% of UK pensioners – over 1.5m older people – are living in persistent poverty (below 60% median population income for three out of the last four years).
- Pensioner poverty in the UK has risen in the last year by 300,000 - equivalent to 822 people a day - and now reaches 2.5m (1 in 4 older people). Two thirds of these pensioners are women. Felicity Norman, Green European Election Candidate said: "If the other parties are unwilling to lift pensioners out of poverty, then it's clear pensioners will need to elect Greens to fight their corner. "Voting Green is about building a better future - and that includes a secure economic future for older people."

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) have been calling for a pension at or above the official poverty level, which is defined as 60% of median population earnings less housing costs.

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