Old Age Pensions
( Originally Published 1910 )
JANUARY 1ST, 1909, will be ever memorable as the day that witnessed the first payment of the weekly pension granted by the State to the aged poor of the British Isles. The recipients of the weekly pension of five shillings had to show that they were seventy years of age or over ; also that they had kept themselves outside the workhouse, and had not saved enough to have an income of 31 pounds 10s. per annum. About half-a-million old people of both sexes benefitted by the new enactment, which costs the State £7,000,000 a year. This sum is less in amount than the interest paid on the South African War debt. Many pathetic scenes were witnessed at the post-offices where the pensions were paid to the old people.