Experienced politicians know that there are certain vital scraps of information they need to carry in their heads at all times, such as the price of milk or bread, lest they be caught out during a live interview and accused of being out of touch.
Yet somehow, Rachel Reeves, widely seen as one of the most talented members of Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet, forgot that basic rule. She was asked during a live interview on LBC how much the state pension is currently worth a fact that you might expected the shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to have at her fingertips.
“It’s just under £100 a week, the basic state pension, of course,” she replied.
“I thought it was £113,” her interviewer Nick Ferrari countered, correctly.
As he persisted in trying to pin down whether she did or did know the answer, she gave a more detailed reply: "It depends how many years you’ve contributed to a pension - if you are a poorer pensioner, you get those top-ups with pension credit, the minimum income guarantee if you like with a pensioner is around £130 or £140.”
Whatever else happens, you can assume that for the rest of her time in her present job, Ms Reeves will never walk into a broadcasting studio again without knowing exactly what the state pension is worth.Reuse content