Consumer prices rose 4.7 per cent in January, while the government raised pensions by just 2.8 per cent.
If the government cannot predict inflation to an appropriate degree, then the November pension correction should be made as early as April. The LMP is submitting a bill to this end. The government says it will preserve the real value of the elderly' benefits by keeping the pension increase in line with inflation. However, this is not the case at all: pensioners feel their pensions are worth less and less. One reason is that wages have increased four times as fast in the last four years as pensions, so pensioners are becoming more impoverished in society. The other problem is the sharp increase in inflation in recent months. While pensions rose by just 2.8 per cent, in January food increased by an average of 6.9 per cent. In the consumer basket of pensioners, the proportion of food is higher than average and they are also much more price sensitive. So it is not difficult to see how much problems the price of fruit and a 17 per cent increase in the price of cold cuts are causing them problems. The government's poor planning practice means an average pensioner a loss of £2,565 a month until the November pension overhaul. The LMP is submitting a bill to ensure the government does the pension correction as early as April and does not use the elderly' money for almost a year. Elisabeth Schmuck,