HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c847W
18. Jonathan Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of changes since 1997 on the incomes of the poorest pensioners. [167694]

Malcolm Wicks

As a result of measures we have already undertaken, including the introduction of pension credit, on average pensioner households are now £1,350 a year (£26 per week) better off, than they would have been under the 1997 system. The poorest third of pensioner households are on average, £1,750 a year (£33 per week) better off.

I am sure that the House will agree with me that this represents good progress in tackling pensioner poverty. Figures out just last month show pensioner poverty down again—with absolute low income cut by two thirds, lifting 1.8 million pensioners out of acute hardship since 1997.