- 2013 National Retired Members Conference
- 11 June 2013
On 21 March 2013, Chancellor, George Osborne, made no mention of increasing the Age Addition Payment of 25 pence per week paid to pensioners receiving the State Pension on reaching the age of 80 years.
Conference is very concerned that the age addition of 25 pence per week was not increased in the 2013 Budget. It was introduced in September 1971 by Sir Keith Joseph, Conservative MP. He said it was to recognise ‘albeit in a small way the special claims of very elderly people who need help rather more than others. As they grow old their possessions wear out and they need help for necessary jobs they used to do themselves’ (Hansard). Nothing has changed that situation since 1971!
In 1971, 25 pence was 4% of the basic State Pension and would buy, for example, either 12 large eggs or one pound of bacon or one pound of Cheddar cheese or 4 white loaves costing only 23 pence! Today, 25 pence doesn’t even buy a first class stamp! Sir Keith Joseph’s good intentions have long been forgotten since his statement 42 years ago.
As the present Coalition Government has no intention of raising the basic state pension to the poverty level or above, a substantial increase in the age addition payment to £30 per week for the pensioners aged 80 and over is urgently needed.
Conference therefore instructs the National Retired Members Committee and calls on the National Executive Council to:
1)campaign urgently for an increase to £30 per week age addition payment to state pensioners aged 80 and over:
2)liaise with Labour Link to bring this situation to the notice of MPs:
3)work closely with the National Pensioners Convention, Trade Union Congress, Scottish Trades Union Congress, Scottish Pensioners Forum, other trade unions and relevant organisations to gain support for the campaign:
4)publicise the campaign strategy to Regions and Branches for their support in achieving the increase.