Thousands of Pensioners in Bristol to Benefit from Lib Dem Manifesto Pledge

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams MP has welcomed the announcement by Lib Dem Pensions Minister Steve Webb MP that pensioners would be guaranteed to earn at least an extra £790 per year by the end of the next parliament under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans.

These changes mean the state pension will be worth at least £131-a-week by 2020, up from just £97.65 four years ago. In total pensioners who receive the full state pension would get at least £6,800 in 2020. The plans are expected to benefit 55, 872 pensioners in Bristol.

Thanks to the Liberal Democrats' triple lock guarantee, the basic state pension has risen in each year of the last parliament by whichever is the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%. The triple lock was a key demand from the Liberal Democrats in Coalition negotiations. This means the state pension is £440 higher per year in 2014-15 than if it had increased in line with earnings from the start of this Parliament, and £800 a year more in total.

Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to write this guarantee into law, giving pensioners more certainty that their pension will continue to rise in future.

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams said:

"I have always believed that how a society treats its elderly people is a measure of how fair a society is.

"Liberal Democrats are committed to building a fairer society and protecting our elderly population not just in this parliament, but for every parliament in the future. That's why we have pledged to write this 'triple lock' into law, guaranteeing that pensioners get this protection in the years ahead, going further than any of the other parties.

"This is the latest in a long line of Liberal Democrat policies delivered in Government that help build and safeguard a fairer society. This will offer dignity and stability to current pensioners, as well as those coming up to retirement. They will be able to better plan their futures knowing that they'll no longer be faced with the insecurity of unpredictable pension rises."

Announcing the plan, Pensions Minister Steve Webb added:

"A decent income in retirement for pensioners is central to the Liberal Democrat vision of a fair society.

"For decades, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline after Mrs. Thatcher broke the 'earnings link' in 1980. 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.

"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%."