The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has welcomed the news that under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans for the General Election, pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament
Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb, has announced that the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. This guarantee would ensure an increase in the value of the state pension of at least £790 per year by the end of the next Parliament, to the direct benefit of many thousands of pensioners in South Wales West.
The basic state pension has already risen each year since 2010 thanks to the Liberal Democrat's triple lock guarantee, which was a key demand of the Party in the Coalition negotiations. As a result the state pension is £440 per year, or £8.46 per week higher than it would have been had it increased in line with earnings since the start of this Parliament, and it is worth over £800 a year or £15.45 per week more in total.
Mr Black said:
"A decent income in retirement for pensioners is central to the Liberal Democrat vision of a fair society. For decades, following the breaking of the earnings link by Mrs Thatcher in 1980, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline. Our manifesto promise of a 'triple lock' has been implemented every year since 2010 and means that the state pension is already a higher share of the national average wage than at any time since the early 1990s.
"That means 42,812 pensioners in Swansea; 26,051 pensioners in Neath Port Talbot, and 24,854 pensioners in Bridgend are better off today than they would have been under a Labour Government.
"But if we are serious about having a decent state pension we need to go further. That is why the Liberal Democrats will guarantee in law that in each year pensions will rise by the highest of wages, prices or 2.5%. This will give pensioners in our region and across Wales more certainty that their pensions will continue to rise in future.
"Liberal Democrat plans are in stark contrast to the Blair years, which on one occasion, saw Labour perfectly happy to increase the state pension by an insulting 75p a week."