Pensioners: Cost of Living

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of living for pensioner households in each year since 1997.

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander Liberal Democrat, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the pensioner prices index was in each year from 1978-79 to 2008-09.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Pension Reform), Department for Work and Pensions

Price indices for pensioner households are published in Tables 7.4 and 7.5 of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Focus on Consumer Price Indices. This information is available in the Library.

ONS produce separate indices for one and two pensioner households where at least three quarters of the household's income is from state benefits. These households are excluded from the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

The ONS exclude housing costs from the pensioner indices on the grounds that this would overstate inflation, as pensioners either tend to have lower housing costs, or would mostly be cushioned against some rises in housing costs by increases in housing-related benefits.

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