The National Pensioners’ Convention is shocked by new attacks on the government’s decision to reinstate the state pension triple lock rise next April.
As a new report* shows pensioner poverty is rocketing to well above two million, the UK’s largest older people’s campaign group says it is ‘shameful’ that so many are criticising the increase, which may see state pensions legistimately rising by 10% in 2023.
NPC calls out shameful ‘ageism’ of those attacking proposed state pension triple lock increase
Especially as last September, the Chancellor froze the triple lock - a government commitment to raise the value of the state pension every tax year by the higher of: inflation, average wage growth or 2.5 per cent - to 3.1%, just as UK inflation hit 9.1%.
Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said: “Our members have been struggling more than most with brutal food and fuel increases – so we have been shocked by the number of attacks reported in the media on the decision to reinstate the triple lock for pensioners.
“Sadly, it shows just how little people understand the UK state pension system – one of the poorest in the western world – and the current plight of millions of our oldest and most vulnerable who have just spent a winter choosing between eating or heating their homes. The NPC totally supports the call for all workers to receive a pay increase in line with inflation during this cost-of-living crisis.
“All of us grow old and not all of us are wealthy pensioners - that accolade fits around 600,000 pensioners out of more than 12 million retirees. Most of us struggle to get by on what is the most inadequate state pension in the industrial world, propped up by means-tested benefits which means pensioners who have worked and contributed all their working lives are somehow seen to be getting something for nothing. Not everyone is lucky enough to have an occupational pension. Indeed, we already know that one in three ofthose in their mid-50's now, will rely solely on the state pension when they retire.”
Jan added that even a 10% rise will still leave the majority of our pensioners living on an income less than half the living wage.
Jan said: “It is a well-researched fact that older people spend a larger proportion of their income on essentials like energy and food compared to other households.
We believe everyone deserves an income increase that matches inflation. However, it is disappointing for some sections of the media to encourage such overt ageism towards the older generation – it’s completely unnecessary. Pensioners were workers once and workers are the pensioners of the future. The NPC stands for dignity in retirement now and in the future.”
*A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Ageing Better has found one in seven 65 year olds have been pushed into poverty due to the Government’s decision to raise the state pension age. The age for both sexes has risen in recent years from 60 to 66 for both men and women, making retirement further off. The consequence is that approximately 700,000 Britons were forced to wait another year before they could receive the state pension. It has increased the absolute income poverty rate for 65 year olds by 14 percentage points, or nearly 100,000 people. www.ifs.org.uk/publications/16097