The old age pension? That's £30 isn't it? Nick Clegg condemned as 'out of touch' after TV blunderBy Ian Drury
Last updated at 9:39 AM on 17th September 2008
Nick Clegg was left looking out of touch with voters' lives last night after a question about the state pension revealed he had no idea how much it was worth.
The Liberal Democrat leader - who lives in a £1.3million home in London with his lawyer wife - said a single person's pension was 'about £30 a week' rather than the £90.70 it is.
His blunder risked undermining £61,000-a-year Mr Clegg's insistence that he is in touch with the ordinary person and he understands their concerns.
Nick Clegg kisses babies ahead of the Lib Dem conference. The party leader mistakenly said that a state pension is just £30 a weekPensioners' charities said there was 'no excuse' for the mistake.
Mr Clegg made the howler during an interview for ITV Westcountry which was broadcast yesterday on the eve of his speech at the Lib Dems' annual conference in Bournemouth.
Several voters were filmed asking him questions and one of them, retired welder Wally Cotgrave, 69, wanted to know what Mr Clegg would do for pensioners and if he knew the current level of the basic state pension.
Mr Clegg outlined his policies, including ending means-testing for pensioners, until reporter Sally Biddulph pressed him on how much OAPs received each week.
Mr Clegg said 'about £30 a week' but it is actually £90.70 for a single person and £145.45 a week for a couple.
The gaffe follows the ridicule heaped on Mr Clegg, who has two homes, when he complained the credit crunch had forced him to switch weekly food shop from upmarket home delivery service Ocado to Sainsbury's.