Pensions still a scandal
THE government claims it is giving new help to pensioners this week. It is a lie. The "new" tax credit scheme it announced is a rehash of one already signalled in the budget. The scheme will help only a small minority of pensioners, and even then not until after the next election.
It involves slightly increasing the tax credit for pensioners who receive private or occupational pensions on top of the basic state pension. New Labour still refuses to link rises in the basic pension to the rise in earnings. Instead it is insisting on sticking with the formula that this year delivered a rise of just 75p a week. The National Pensioners Convention condemned the latest government move as an extension of means testing.