An MP not knowing the price of milk is one thing, but the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary not knowing the value of the basic state pension is something else. Rachel Reeves did not know the answer when pressed several times by Nick Ferrari on LBC this morning:
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NF: How much is a pension at the moment for an elderly person? What do they pull in a week now?
RR: It’s just under £100 a week, the basic state pension, of course.
NF: Is it?
NF: The basic state pension is just under £100?
RR: It’s around £100 a week. Of course…
NF: I thought it was £113.
RR: It’s around £100. If you…
NF: So you don’t actually know what the pension is?
RR: It depends how many years you’re contributed.
NF: I’m told the pension figure is £113.10, do you recognise that figure?
RR: It does depend, Nick, on how many years…
NF: Well you’ve just said it’s under £100. It can’t be under £100.
RR: Well it depends on how many years you’ve contributed.
The basic state pension is now £113.10 per week…
UPDATE: Reeves went on to say that poorer pensioners get a minimum income guarantee of “around £130-£140”. Quite a wide margin to give herself, the actual figure is just over £148 for a single person and £226 for a couple.