The continuing fall in the real value of the basic state pension, which is not currently linked to earnings, and the lack of any help for pensioners in the budget is worrying charities in the sector.

Mervyn Kohler at Help the Aged told Daily Telegraph: “There simply isn’t enough in the Chancellor’s statement to address the growing needs of an ageing population, or to tackle the fact that a fifth of pensioners currently line in poverty”. And Gordon Listman, Age Concern’s director general said: “It is extremely disappointing that the Government has yet again failed to bring forward the date for re-linking the state pension to earnings. Without quick intervention the real value of the basic state pension will continue to fall”.

Currently a single person will get a guaranteed weekly income of £124.05 from April 5, 2008 and couples £189.35.

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