The Conservative manifesto pledged to protect the triple lock which protected pensions, ensuring payments would rise by either the rate of inflation of average earnings, the rate of inflation of consumer goods, or 2.5 percent – whichever was highest. This year, the rate of earnings increased by a record high of 8.8 percent, because the pandemic threw the population into unemployment and then, as Covid eased, there was a wave of new employment.
After a mammoth year for public spending, the UK now finds itself in over £2.25trillion of national debt, and the Government announced that they would not honour the triple lock pledge by raising state pension payments by a hefty 8.8 percent.
In a poll of 1,686 people held from October 20 to 26, a staggering 93 percent of respondents said they felt betrayed by the Government over state pensions.
One Express reader said: “Wait till the next general election, Johnson’s band of no hopes will promise you everything, but pause for a moment and remember how this Government has treated its pensioners, it has lied and cheated them.”
The Conservative’s choice to scrap the triple lock and instead work off a ‘double lock’ meant that state pensions will rise by the rate of inflation for consumer goods (CPI) which stands at 3.1 percent.
This means the full basic state pension will increase from £137.60 to £141.85 per week, and the full state pension will rise from £179.60 to £185.15.
But with a gas and oil crisis hitting British bill payers alongside a rising cost of living overall, critics have called the Treasury’s rise “inhumane”.
Sarah Pennells, Consumer Finance Specialist at Royal London, said: “The dip in the inflation rate could be bad news for pensioners.
“There seems to be a divide at the Bank of England about where inflation is headed next, with warnings of inflation hitting – or nearing – four percent by the end of the year.
“Rising energy costs will add to the concern that price rises will outstrip the increase pensioners see next year.”
In Express.co.uk’s poll, 95 percent of voters said the 3.1 percent rise to the state pension is not enough, with one reader calling it a “shameful way to treat the elderly”.
Another voter commented: “3.1 percent is an insult considering that Great Britain is one of the richest countries in the world, with one of the lowest pensions in the developed world.
“50 years of work and what do you get? Next to F ALL.”
Andrew Tully, Technical Director at financial services company Canada Life, commented: “Despite what many may consider to be a generous uplift in the state pension, the UK system remains one of the least generous in the Western world.
“Any future attempt to reduce the value of the state pension by moving to a permanent double-lock would risk a serious retirement rebellion from millions of voters and any Government would be foolish to ignore that.”
When asked how much voters thought the state pension should have been raised by, 46 percent of people thought the Government should have honoured the triple lock and stuck to 8.8 percent.
A large 39 percent of voters thought the state pension should have been increased by a rate somewhere between 5.1 percent and 8.7 percent, whilst 11 percent thought it should have been raised by a figure in the range of 3.2 to 5 percent.
Only three percent of voters were happy with the rise of 3.1 percent, and one percent said it should have been lower.
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The previous annual rise to the state pension tallied in at the lowest rate of 2.5 percent, leaving many pensioners feeling like a major boost to the state pension was well overdue.
An infuriated voter wrote: “It’s enough to put many pensioners below the poverty line! It’s enough to make some pensioners turn off their heating and die of hypothermia! It’s enough to make some of them start to buy offal to eat instead of decent food!”
What do you think of the state pension rise? Let us know in the comments below.
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