Pensioners to call for a rise

11 March 2006
Pensioners are to join forces to call on the government to increase the basic state pension to £114 a week, with a link to earnings.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has criticised the recent report from Lord Turner's pensions commission, saying the recommendations do not meet the needs of today's pensioners.

Following A-Day on April 6th, the basic state pension is due to be increased by £2.20, but the NPC says the rising cost of utility bills and council tax will make the £84.25 a week "totally inadequate".

From April 2006 the NPC also wants the state pension to be paid equally to both men and women.

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary, said: "The recent Turner report has done nothing to ease the situation and now the secretary of state for pensions, John Hutton, must act.

"The country can afford to pay everyone a decent pension, not least by using the surplus in the National Insurance fund currently estimated at £34.6 billion and growing to £60 billion by 2010."

On March 11th a series of protest meetings will be held around the country, including in Newcastle, Manchester and London.

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