§ 17. Mr. Donald Anderson
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with pensioners' organisations in Wales about pensions and benefits for the elderly in Wales. 
§ 23. Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with pensioners' organisations in Wales about pension levels and take-up of the Minimum Income Guarantee. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
I met the National Association of Pensioners in Wales on 7 June last year to discuss pensions, and my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State met members of the Age Concern focus groups recently to discuss a range of issues affecting older people in Wales.
This Government are committed to delivering real improvements to ensure that pensioners have a decent and secure income in retirement.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced measures in the Budget that will improve benefits to pensioners and help tackle pensioner poverty.
The basic State pension is rising by £5 per week to £72.50 for a single person and £8 per week to £115.90 for a couple helping all 630,000 pensioners in the region.
The Minimum Income Guarantee, putting a floor under pensioners incomes, is rising to £92 for a single pensioner and £140.55 for couples. This will increase again in April 2003, and will help tackle pensioner poverty in 105,000 pensioner households in Wales. 10,000 more pensioners in Wales will be eligible, and benefits for the 95,000 pensioners currently eligible will be increased.
An increase in age related income tax allowances for pensioners by £240 over and above inflation from April 2003 will benefit half of all pensioner households in Wales: 165,000 households.229W
Other measures for all pensioners, and particularly help for the poorest, includes the free eye tests, Winter Fuel Payments and the reduction in VAT on fuel to 5 per cent.