Pensioners get some small financial relief from Portugal's new anti-austerity government

Portugal's new Socialist government has announced pension increases for around 2 million people as part of its drive to reverse austerity measures adopted during the country's recent financial crisis.

The rises, however, won't amount to much more cash in pensioners' pockets — increases will track the annual inflation rate, which is around 0.3 percent.

Social Security Minister Jose Vieira da Silva said Thursday that only pensions below 628 euros ($681) a month will rise.

That covers more than half of pensioners in Portugal, which is Western Europe's poorest country. The average pension is just over 400 euros a month and the economy is weighed down by high debt.

The government also announced an increase in family allowances of between 2 and 3.5 percent and rises in some other welfare payments.