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Ministers devote £4.5bn to pensions

The Government has announced that an extra £6.6 billion will be designated for pensions and social security benefits to "protect people against increases in prices".

Pensions minister Steve Webb spoke during a Commons debate to approve documents including the Pensions Act 2008 Amendment Order, the Guaranteed Minimum Pensions Increase Order and the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order.

"At a time when the nation's finances are under severe pressure, this Government will be spending an extra £6.6 billion in 2012-13 to ensure that people are protected against cost of living increases," he said.

Of this expenditure, £4.5 billion will be spend on pensioners, over £1 billion on disabled people and the rest on people who are unemployed or unable to work through sickness. Part of the proposals includes a 5.2 per cent rise in benefits for the jobless.

However, shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms criticised the plan, saying the Government's proposal for uprating benefits and pensions would be "meaner than the method used before".

Copyright Press Association 2012

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