Oral Answers to Questions — Pensioner Poverty

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

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Photo of Mr Brian White Mr Brian White Labour, North East Milton Keynes 12:00 am, 2nd April 2001

What progress is being made to combat pensioner poverty. [154878]

Photo of Mr Jeff Rooker Mr Jeff Rooker Minister of State, Department of Social Security, Minister of State (Department of Social Security)

The answer is simple: our record speaks volumes, as the whole of the past hour has shown. More than 2 million of the poorest pensioners in this country are now at least £15 a week or £800 a year better off in real terms. People on the basic minimum income guarantee receive £78.45 this week. Next week, their income will go up to £92.15.

Photo of Mr Brian White Mr Brian White Labour, North East Milton Keynes

The pension credit will bring many more people out of poverty, but will my right hon. Friend say what he is doing for those people prior to the introduction of the credit?

Photo of Mr Jeff Rooker Mr Jeff Rooker Minister of State, Department of Social Security, Minister of State (Department of Social Security)

As my hon. Friend knows, there will be further increases as the transition to pension credit is effected. That is why there has been an increase in the basic state pension this year that is over and above both the earnings link and the prices link. In addition, we are in any event committed to raising the minimum income guarantee in line with earnings.