DWP 'disagrees' with State Pension petitionwritten by Bella Palmer
The DWP response outlines how this option is not plausible, explaining how State Pension and the National Living Wage have ‘different purposes and a direct comparison cannot be drawn’
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has responded to an online petition calling for State Pension payments to be increased to £380 ($496.55) per week to match the new National Living Wage rate, saying that the UK Government ‘disagrees’ with its proposed approach.
The ‘Increase the State Pension to £19,760 a year (£380 a week)’ petition was created last month by Stephen Edward Wyatt. It has already received more than 42,115 signatures of support from people living in every council area in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
However, the DWP response outlines how this option is not plausible, explaining how State Pension and the National Living Wage have ‘different purposes and a direct comparison cannot be drawn’.
The DWP said: The Government disagrees with the proposed approach of this petition. This petition suggests linking the State Pension and the National Living Wage (NLW). The two have different purposes, and a direct comparison cannot be drawn. The NLW aims to protect low income workers and provide an incentive to work by ensuring that workers benefit from being employed. Most pensioners have left the labour market.
It goes on to say that comparisons made in the petition between headline State Pension payments and the NLW do not consider the full package of measures available to support older people in retirement.
DWP explained: In addition to the headline State Pension amounts, there are many further sources of financial support for pensioners.
It said: Those aged over State Pension age are entitled to free eye tests, free NHS prescriptions and free bus passes. Those aged over 75 and in receipt of Pension Credit are eligible for free TV licences. In addition, Winter Fuel Payments provide pensioners with support for their energy bills worth over £2 billion every winter.
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