Plaid Cymru's Hywel Williams MP has offered the Government's pensions reform proposals a cautious welcome, saying that the plans are good news for women and the self-employed but offer little comfort for existing pension recipients.
Mr Williams said that the small and local businesses which make up the Welsh economy will receive a boost from these proposals, but warned that the proposed sum of £144 a week may be far too little given the soaring costs of daily essentials such as food and fuel.
Hywel Williams MP said:
"I welcome the Government's intention to abandon the complexity of the current system and the over-use of means-testing.
"It is particularly good news that women who have taken career breaks to have children and the self-employed are set to benefit. The Welsh economy is made-up of small and local business run by hard-working entrepreneurs and any move to offer them greater security is a positive step.
"Pensions offer security and stability for people as they approach later life and often face vulnerability in one form or another. Plaid Cymru have long-recognised this and called for a 'living pension' in 2010 to bring about an end to pensioner poverty.
"Unfortunately these plans won't help those who are already pensioners and particularly those who already find themselves in poverty.
"Also, many of those who will be covered by the scheme will have to pay higher National Insurance Contributions, for longer, before they collect their pension, so may not benefit from these plans as they should.
"I am also concerned that the proposed £144 a week will be far too low given the soaring costs of daily essentials such as food and fuel, and especially given the Government's decision to cut the Winter Fuel Allowance by £100."