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Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

What recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of pensioner poverty; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This Government has seen the absolute poverty rate for pensioners fall to record lows, with over 200,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty before housing costs. Rates of material deprivation for pensioners are also at record lows.

We have reduced pensioner poverty close to historically low levels, lifting the incomes of millions of older people. Since 2009/10, material deprivation for pensioners has fallen from 10 per cent to 7 per cent in 2016/17 and since 2010 there are 200,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty, a record low.

The Government is committed to action that helps to alleviate levels of pensioner poverty. In 2018/19 we will spend £121.5 billion on benefits for pensioners, including £97 billion on the State Pension for this year.

The Government has also committed to up-rating the basic State Pension by the highest of the growth in earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent - the 'triple lock' guarantee. This will mean that the full basic State Pension will be around £1450 per year higher in 2018/19 than in 2010. The Government has committed to the triple lock for the remainder of this Parliament.

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