Budget 2021: Money Box caller questions absence of pensions
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Pensioner John expressed his disappointment with the Chancellor’s speech stating he will have a “rough year next year”. Speaking on the BBC Money Box podcast. he said: “There was no mention of the pension. He took away the eight percent from the triple lock.
“The British pensioners are probably the lowest paid pensioners in Europe, so it’s done nothing to help us.
“With a forecast inflation of five percent, we’re going to have a rough year next year.”
The triple lock is the term given to the Government’s promise to raise the state pension by either the rate of inflation, average earnings growth, or 2.5 percent.
Due to the pandemic and furlough artificially inflating earnings across the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have opted for a “double lock” for at least a year and will not include earnings as an indication.
“So, pensioners aren’t even getting an increase that keeps in line with rising costs.”
Tax expert Heather Self explained that by having the double lock in place, the Chancellor is saving £5.4billon next year, and this could rise to £6billion in subsequent years.
On the Government’s state pension decision, Lord Prem Sikka said: “I am opposing the suspension of the triple lock because it condemns current and future retirees to a life of misery.
“The average state pension of £8,000 is around 25 percent of average national wage, the lowest in the industrialised world.
“The proportion of retirees living in severe poverty is five times what it was in 1986. Around 2.1 million pensioners live in poverty. Some 1.3 million retirees are undernourished and 25,000 die each year due to cold weather.
“The maintenance of the triple lock enables retirees to meet the rising cost of food and energy.
“The government’s election pledge can easily be met through the £37billion surplus in the National Insurance Fund account”.
Rishi Sunak also failed to announce any additional measures today to help the elderly this winter despite their finances being squeezed more than previous years.
John continued: “He left the Winter Fuel Allowance which I thought he would have increased because of the increasing cost of fuel.
“That’s been £200 now for 11 years.”
Paul Lewis, presenter of the podcast agreed with John and stated that this allowance should possibly be three times more than the current rate, or at least double that.
The Winter Fuel Payment is a benefit from the government which allows pensioners to receive some money towards their heating bills. This could be worth as much as £300 for some people. The payment is tax-free and receiving it will not affect a claimant’s ability to receive other benefits.
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