Oral Answers to Questions — Minimum Income Guarantee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2 April 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling Secretary of State for Social Security 12:00, 2 April 2001

My hon. Friend is right to draw attention to one of the problems of the present pension system. The basic state pension has many strengths and attractions, but one of its weaknesses is that someone without the required number of contributions will not get a full pension. Many women—particularly those who did not pay the full contributions up until 1977—are retiring with pensions that are below even the basic state pension. We introduced the minimum income guarantee to make sure that all pensioners were guaranteed just that, a minimum, from next week, of more than £92 a week. The pension credit will be of great help to women who have some savings. As it will increase in line with earnings, it will benefit women significantly. All those measures are, of course, opposed by the Conservative party.