State pension petition could be debated in Parliament

State pension: Pensioner asks ‘who’s going to pay?’

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An online petition posted on the Parliament website has called for a minimum weekly state pension of £380 per week, working out as £19,760 per year. It said the UK state pension in its current form is “far too low” and pensioners need more support. 

The petition also called for a lower state pension age of 60 to provide support to older people.

It argued: “This should lift thousands out of poverty, and give our elderly folk more spending power and help grow the economy.

“The Government should restore the state pension age back to 60 for men and women, because, people should not have to wait until their mid to late 60s to claim the state pension.

“Many people have worked from a young age, and their health deteriorates long before they are able to claim the state pension.”

The DWP previously rejected the petition outright, once it reached the 10,000 signature threshold needed to trigger a Government response.

However, the petition has now passed the 100,000 signatures required for the matter to be considered for an official debate in Parliament.

At the time of writing, the petition has garnered 105,688 signatures and is now waiting for a debate date.

It is not yet clear whether the matter will be debated, as the website states the petition has waited 42 days for debate. 

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The Department previously said the Government currently has no plans to increase the state pension to £380 per week or reduce state pension age to 60.

However, it added it was still “committed to a decent state pension as the foundation of support for people in retirement”.

Lowering the state pension age, it was argued, would increase a tax burden on the current working-age population.

While a higher state pension would “make the system unsustainable” according to the Department.

It said since 2010, the full yearly amount of the basic state pension has risen by over £2,300 in cash terms.

The Government also pointed towards various support measures available to pensioners, some of which are dependent on their finances.

Pension Credit, for example, assists older people on a low income with their day-to-day costs through a top-up.

Pension Credit recipients can also benefit from the £650 cost of living payment this year, designed to help with energy bills.

The response added: “This Government is committed to providing a financial safety net for those who need it, including when they near or reach retirement. 

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“Support is available through our benefit system to those who are unable to work or are on a low income but are not eligible for pensioner benefits because of their age.” readers have previously made their opinions about a £380 state pension and lower state pension age known.

Lost Democracy said: “This would work out as £19,760 for basic state pensioners. Now that is a good pension.”

TomtheOne wrote: “Seems like a good idea. Brings all pensioners into income tax bracket and removes Pension Credit.”

But not everyone agreed with the idea put forward in the petition.

The user Buckle said: “A weekly pension paying more than those on minimum wage? This is cloud cuckoo land.”

Greebo argued: “A state age based pension is not affordable or necessary. Instead provide means-tested support for anyone in real need.”

Dublodave added: “While £380 per week would be a godsend, it’s hardly likely to happen. As for dropping the pension age to 60, there is no way the Government can do that as it is simply unaffordable for the country.”

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