§ Mr. McCartney
The 25 pence age addition for state pensioners aged 80 and over was introduced by the Conservative Government in 1971.
The age addition will be maintained, but on its own it is not the most cost-effective way to help elderly pensioners. We have gone much further.
We have introduced measures which, from October 2003, will mean that the poorest third of pensioner households will have gained over £1,500 a year in real terms.
We have introduced free TV licences from age 75 worth over £100 a year, winter fuel payments of £200 per year for eligible households paid to some 11 million people in 8 million households, and the minimum income guarantee which means that no single pensioner has to live on less than £102.10 and no couple on less than £155.80 from April.
We are going further still with the introduction of pension credit from October 2003.
We have therefore found better and more effective ways to help pensioners with the lowest incomes.