THE AVERAGE pensioner household will gain pounds 240 a year from this Budget. More than 200,000 pensioners will be taken off income tax through a boost to tax allowances for the over-65s. For people aged 65 to 74, the additional allowance rises by pounds 310 a year, to pounds 5,720. Pensioners over 75 will have their allowance raised by a further pounds 160, to pounds 5,980 before tax.

Pensioners are also exempted from the abolition of the married couple's allowance.

The Chancellor has also boosted the level of the minimum income guarantee introduced in the last Budget, in line with earnings rather than prices. Single pensioners will be guaranteed pounds 75 a week and couples pounds 116.60, this year. Next year, the guarantee will rise to pounds 78 and pounds 120.

Andrew Verity