Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Where's the Money Coming From?

A challenge to our LibDem friends. I'm in that sort of mood tonight. The LibDems have promised to increase the State Pension by £25 a week in an outrageous attempt to bribe the electorate. Bearing in mind that for every £5 a week the pension is increased it costs £2.8 billion annually, could someone enlighten this bewildered Tory candidate just where they intend to find the £14 billion it will cost to finance this? Somehow I don't think the electorate will fall for this one.


DM Andy said...

Remember that the Lib Dems are also pledged to get rid of the Minimum Income Guarantee / Pension Credit / whatever it's called this week. Therefore a single pensioner who is just on the basic state pension of £79/week and Pension Credit of £25/week will actually not get anything extra at all.

This will have some cost though, you ought to be able to find the numbers of pensioners who claim Pension Credit, take that from the total number of pensioners and times by £25/week.

By the way, the official Lib Dem answer appears to be "by raising income tax to 50% for earnings over £100k/year". You know, the same pot they are going to afford everything else out of.

Anonymous said...

£2.8bn annual cost divided by £260 per annum (£5/week) = 10,769,231 persons . It is utterly inconceivable that there are this many over-75s in this country (total population about 60m)

Please adjust your hysterical claim - and what is the £14bn claim all about ?

Anonymous said...

£2.8bn annual cost divided by £260 (£5/week) = 10,769,231 persons . It is inconceivable that there are this many over-75s in the country

Liam said...

As one of your correspondents notes above, the policy only covers those over 75 - and looking at the press releases on the Lib Dem website, they make this point very clearly. As your first correspondent notes, part of this comes from abolishing the pensions credit (which most - I think 2 million of the pensioners entitled to it - do not claim - I think the Tories also favour abolition but may be wrong). The remainder (£2.7 billion) will come from abolishing the DTI - again it's all on the website www.libdems.org.uk.

Incidentally, I was very amused by you saying that increasing the state pension is an outrageous bribe. Presumably on that basis you would describe Tory spending pledges in the same way!

People will no doubt decide whether they see better pensions for the over 75s as an outrageous bribe (as you do) or as a fairer deal for people who have contributed a lot to the country and many of whom now find themselves in difficult financial circumstances (as Norman Lamb does).

Iain Dale said...

As you well know the outrageous bribe comment was directed at the £25 a week pledge. Well know it's hogwash, particularly as you know you'll never get the chance to implement it.