The Living Wage is calculated as the basic cost of living - what households need in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living. Currently the State Pension, even when topped up with pension credit, does not provide this necessary level of income. This means that pensioners are forced to make painful decisions such as whether to spend their income on food or heating.
I am 77 years of age, I am officially registered as disabled, having had a stroke, two heart attacks, and suffering from Angina and Polymyositis. I get only the state pension and pension credit, whilst my wife Nikki who is my full time carer only has the basic carer's allowance. We are really struggling. We do not have enough money to live on.
The Living Wage is currently £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 an hour in the rest of the UK. This equates to £343 a week in London (£294 elsewhere in the UK) for a 37.5 hour working week for an individual. Similarly, the Minimum Income Standard for a pensioner couple is £347.93 per week.
The basic state pension however, is only £113.10 per week for those born before 1951, and although total household income can be topped up with pension credit to £148.35 (for single people) or £226.50 (for couples), a 54% increase (98% for individuals) in this level of income is required to bring this up to an amount people can live on.
We are asking the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb, to increase the state pension to match the Living Wage.
Update #52 years ago
We have received a response to our petition from Mr Webb's office [view PDF]
We believe this is a smokescreen. The State Pension was intended to provide comfortable living standards for pensioners, without having to struggle financially in their later years. Although this petition is now closing, we have no intention of giving up. If there is a change of government, we aim to lobby the new Minister. Thank you to all who have signed this petition.
Update #42 years ago
We requested recently that we take our petition to The House of Commons to present to Steve Webb. However, Mr Webb has declined the offer, citing as a reason that, what with the General Election being imminent, he would not have the time to meet us. However, we have now emailed the petition to his office, and are awaiting his reply.
Update #32 years ago
investment bank Goldman Sachs (who were part of the banking crisis that caused the Government to introduce austerity measuresl)) have put aside £88BILLION to give pay increases and bonuses to their senior staff (£250,000 each) Pensioners struggle on less than the Living Wage.Yet the Government say we can't afford pay rises for workers and an increase for State Pensions. PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION.
Update #22 years ago
We would like to thank all the people who have signed and passed on this very important petition, which, at the time of writing, has reached 26,000 signatures. Not bad in just over a week! It will now be distributed even further afield on care2's own facebook and Twitter Pages, so please keep going until we have enough signatures to hand it in to The Government. I you can help publicise it, please do that too. Many thanks from Pete & Nikki xx
Update #12 years ago
Just to let everybody know that our petition has really got off to a flying start! We have gathered almost 5,000 signatures in less than a week. This seems to be a cause that everyone cares about. Well, let's face it, we are all going to get old one day! Thanks a million!