Pension increase

Jeff Salway (your report, 10 April) suggests that the election debate focusing on NI contributions could "spark a campaign for a higher state pension".

The Saga organisation, which represents older people, invited each of the main party leaders to contribute an article to the March 2010 edition of its magazine, indicating what each would do for Saga's constituents.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg all promised, inter alia, that if elected their party would restore the link between the state pension and average earnings, to replace the current link to the Retail Prices Index introduced by the Conservatives in 1980 and continued by the Labour Party.

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It has been suggested that if this link had not been severed, the state pension would currently be worth some 50 per week more, thereby substantially reducing levels of pensioner poverty.

Since this commitment is on record, the only remaining question is when?

The Labour Party manifesto promises to reinstate the earnings link from 2012.

However, the value lost over the past 30 years is unlikely to be replaced, and pensioner poverty will continue.


Woodrow Court