State pension anger as Boris Johnson is condemned for ‘cruel’ decision
Budget 2021: Experts outline state pension changes
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The House of Lords last Tuesday voted 220 to 178 in favour of retaining the state pension triple-lock next year. The Government expects to save £5.4billion in 2022/23 following the decision to increase the state pension by 3.1 percent inflation figure rather than July’s 8.3 percent earnings growth figure. According to some, an 8.3 percent increase would have been unfair on younger taxpayers who would have footed the bill.
Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, referred to the situation as a “statistical anomaly” – and added that it would be unfair for pensioners to benefit from it.
However, as a report from This is Money highlighted, many savers are furious with the decision.
Jan Shortt, general secretary of campaign group National Pensioners Convention, said older people saving for their pension have become an “easy target”.
She also lamented the UK’s ungenerous state pension, and branded the suspension of the triple lock a “cruel blow”.
Ms Shortt told This is Money: “The oldest and most vulnerable in society are just an easy target.
“This also seems to be yet another step towards dismantling an already low state pension that leaves those dependent upon it living in near poverty.
“Pensioners are already facing terrible financial hardship with the axing of free TV licences for those aged over 75 – and soaring energy bills.
“With many having to choose between heating the home, watching television or eating hot meals, this is a really cruel blow.”
Retired journalist Ian Barratt, from Maldon in Essex, told the website that the move was an attack on pensioners.
He said: “This latest attack on the state pension is a particularly low blow.
“When the Government allows multinational giants such as Amazon to get away with making obscene profits at the expense of the taxpayer – letting them pay a paltry amount of tax – you have to ask where its priorities lie.
“Is it the old and vulnerable, who are less likely to complain, it cares about or is it big business?
“The rich get richer while the poor survive on a meagre state pension that in real terms continues to fall in value.”
Dennis Reed, director of the campaign group Silver Voices, added: “Our members are livid that the statutory guarantee and manifesto promises are being disposed of so lightly.
“It is invidious that the triple lock should be scrapped because of one year of relatively high earning. It might have added perhaps no more than £7 a week to the state pension – so this is hardly a king’s ransom that is at stake.”
The triple lock conundrum could yet lead to more ill-feeling in the coming months as fears of soaring inflation are raised.
The state pension is set for a 3.1 percent rise, in line with September’s inflation figure.
However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned in his Budget that inflation could average four percent next year.
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The Bank of England has also warned inflation could surge to as high as five percent.
Former pensions minister, Steve Webb, told Express.co.uk that this will lead to a “squeeze in living standards next year.
He said: “The actual number they use is the September inflation figure. If it’s around three percent in September, that doesn’t mean to say that it won’t rise to five percent later down the line.
“This is important because I think we will see a squeeze on pensioner living standards next year. If you get a three percent rise, but by next April bills go up, your cost of living may have gone up by as much as six percent.”
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