HC Deb 06 December 2001 vol 376 c517W
30. John Robertson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to improve the minimum income guarantee for the poorest pensioner households. [18715]

Mr. Andrew Smith

The minimum income guarantee benefits around 1.8 million of the poorest households. In April, we reformed the capital rules to reward those who have saved and we abolished the age-related lower rates so that everyone on the MIG is entitled to the highest rate of support. We are committed to raising the MIG in line with earnings throughout this Parliament to ensure that pensioners can share in rising prosperity

To provide greater support not only for the very poorest but also for those on low and modest incomes, we have decided to proceed with the introduction of the Pension Credit from 2003 at a cost of £2 billion in the first full year. The Pension Credit will tackle the unfairness and complexities of the current system. It will bring pensioners up to a guaranteed minimum income and it will reward those who have saved for retirement to ensure that it pays to have saved even quite modest amounts

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