[Mr. Roger Gale in the Chair] — Pensioner Poverty

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 23rd February 2010.

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Photo of John Penrose John Penrose Conservative, Weston-Super-Mare 9:30 am, 23rd February 2010

The hon. Lady puts her case most clearly. Does she agree that it is not just a question of complexity, although that is a real problem, but the fact that the incredibly long and complicated forms that she eloquently described are perceived by many pensioners, including those in my constituency, as being demeaning? They feel that they are unnecessarily and unfairly being obliged to parade their poverty, particularly given that they have paid contributions throughout their working lives. They believe that they should not be put through that. They would far rather go for a restoration of the earnings link at an earlier date. Does the hon. Lady agree that one of the worst outcomes of the current financial crisis is that the Government's projected date of 2013 is drifting backwards in time, because the Government's finances are so tight?