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Spring Budget is more bad news for both today’s and tomorrow’s retirees

Updated: Mar 8

The National Pensioner’s Convention warns that the Spring Budget spells yet more disastrous news for today’s and more worryingly tomorrow’s retirees.


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt may appear to be giving with another state pension rise (due in April), but he is also taking away much of this income boost by stealth.   Worst of all he has completely failed to offer any plan for the long-term future of our ageing population, nor any strategy to deal with increasing poverty in all areas of society.


Spring Budget is more bad news for both today’s and tomorrow’s retirees


Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC said: “This pre-election Budget just shows a fiscal pattern that continues to push millions of todays and tomorrow’s older people into poverty.


“There was nothing in Chancellor Jeremy’s Hunt Spring Budget for older people – just as there was nothing in his last Budget.


“The cut in National Insurance doesn’t help today’s retired people because they don’t pay it. However, this cut in NI will badly affect pensioners of the future – it means less money going into the state pension pot, reducing what is available to the next generation of retirees.


“The freeze on tax thresholds together with the pension rises will also see millions more pensioners – many with small additional occupational incomes, being forced to pay tax for the first time. So, in effect, what they gain in a pension rise, will be lost to taxation. Indeed, this freeze on tax thresholds is of little use to everyone except the wealthy.


As the Chancellor stood up to deliver his Budget speech yesterday (6th March), the NPC joined a Cold Homes Killfuel poverty protest across from Parliament - part of the Unite Energy for All campaign, supported by Fuel Poverty Action, End Fuel Poverty Coalition, the NPC and many other organisations.


The action highlighted their demand that every household is guaranteed enough energy for safe and adequate levels of heating, lighting, cooking as well as protecting additional needs like medical and mobility aids. The campaign argues that it would be paid for by ending fossil fuel subsidies, redistributing energy company profits, and higher tariffs on household energy use beyond necessities.


Jan Shortt, who spoke at the demonstration, said: ”A staggering 5.3million people are now in debt to their energy providers, including older people who cannot afford to heat their homes as the cost of food and other essentials remains high.



“Yet the Chancellor offers little help to those living in inadequate and poorly insulated homes that they cannot afford to keep warm. There was no mention of any real help for older people living in cold, damp homes who cannot afford their heating bills, still exorbitantly high as the cost of food and other essentials continue to rise. 


“We know thousands die each year in the UK from illnesses related to living in cold and damp conditions – these figures can only get worse, despite the energy industry regulator Ofgem’s move to finally lower the price cap* on bills – frankly, it’s too little too late.


“The government need to do better when it comes to fuel poverty which is now widespread. Housing needs are right across society and there is a greater need for social housing, in particular.


“To add insult to injury, the Chancellor offered nothing to a crisis-hit care sector that is critical to the health and wellbeing of older people. Living in cold, damp conditions will only lead to more falling ill and requiring additional health and social care services which are already stretched.”


Citizens’ Advice new research reveals 5.3 million people currently live in households in debt to their supplier. 


End Fuel Poverty Coalition has found that the average household has spent £2,300 more on energy bills since April 2021 than they would have if prices remained stable. 


ENDS


Download the Spring Budget 2024 comment piece

NEWS - NPC Budget Comment - bad for pensioners now and in future.FINAL
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