168,000 Welsh pensioners will die before pensions are reformed

October 25, 2006 3:52 PM

Today, over 1,000 pensioners battled against the wind, rain and cold to protest over the Government's proposed pension reforms which do nothing for today's pensioners until 2012. Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP and Member of the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:

"I fully support this protest. Around 28,000 Welsh pensioners will die every year between now and 2012 when changes to the pension system finally begin - that's 168,000 Welsh pensioners. This is utterly unacceptable.

"Up to half of all Welsh pensioners have an income below the poverty line. The pension credit system is supposed to help them out, but it is so complicated that 150,000 pensioners fail to claim it leaving them in poverty and out of pocket by as much as £186 million a year.

"Many of today's pensioners will also miss out on restoring the link between state pensions and earnings. The Government is effectively abandoning hundreds of thousands of Welsh pensioners to poverty in retirement.

"The Government is also leaving tens of thousands of female pensioners in Wales receiving a measly pension by refusing to base the state pension on years of residency in the UK.

"I would like to see the Government make changes to the pension system today so that we have a universal basic state pension, guaranteeing that no pensioner lives in poverty and that increases year on year inline with earnings. This pension must also be based on residency, as recommended by Lord Turner, so that the discrimination against female pensioners ends once and for all."

What would you like to do next?