Labour is in trouble again after telling pensioners in the pre-budget report that state pensions would rise by 2.5% only for it to emerge that this will not apply to all aspects of the state pension.
The pre-budget report was pretty grim and the one area of the report that wasn’t, was the pensions pledge.
We have now discovered that Alistair Darling was using ‘smoke and mirror’ tactics to get the public onside, during a time when pensions are suffering at the hands of the Labour Government.
The 2.5% rise will not count towards extras such as the State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS) which often make up a third of an individual’s state pension earnings and a quarter of married couple’s.
The exceptions to the 2.5% rule will save the Government £350 million a year but could cost people around £40 a year.
Those working in the pensions industry are shocked that only a small proportion of state pensions will be affected and that for the majority the 2.5% increase is hardly going to be felt.
Alistair Darling did not make these exemptions clear in his speech, which to many seems underhand. With so many of the UK’s pensioners already struggling and living in poverty, this is undoubtedly only going to exacerbate financial issues.
The pension’s spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, Steve Webb, has accused Mr Darling of attempting to cheat retired people out of income. He also said that the ‘reforms’ to the pensions that 2.5% increase would have encouraged now lie in disarray.