The triple lock mechanism, a means by which state pensions kept pace with inflation, was a Conservative manifesto pledge. Last September the Government said it was suspending the triple lock. The Labour Party have just released research which reckons that pensioners will be £427 worse off next year because of this. With heating costs rocketing older people surviving on the basic state pension will really suffer. These are not people who can suddenly join the gig economy to earn a bit of extra cash.
An article in today’s Times headed “Sunak’s Tory critics call for action on cost of living crisis” is headed by a photo of Sunak wearing trainers which cost £335. Last week an anonymous member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet said that voters increasingly regarded the chancellor as a privileged billionaire.
The Government is thinking of providing a rebate on council tax bills of up to half of the cost of the rise in energy prices. This doesn’t sound like enough, will probably be overcomplicated and miss out many people. Why not simply increase the state pensions as promised?
Social Care Costs
This Wednesday Parliament is set to vote through “reforms” to how much people will have to contribute to the cost of their care in old age. Various writers describe the complicated way it works as having built in inequality, being unfair, and exposing poorer homeowners to catastrophic costs.
People will only have to pay a total of £86,000 towards their social care costs. But they will now be required to pay their own living costs. Anyone with over £100,000 in assets will be required to fund their own social care costs until they have spent £86,000. Read the Governments proposals here.
Age UK have prepared a letter for you to send to your MP to ask them to reject the proposals. It works out who your MP is from the postcode you give, and there’s a text box so you can add an extra paragraph to the letter. Email your MP here.
Age UK say: “We only have 48 hours to act.
“Astronomical care costs mean older people often have to spend their life savings and sell their homes to afford care.
“The Government promised to put a cap on these costs, but now they’re reneging on their promise. They want to change what counts towards the cap which will make it harder for many older people on lower incomes and with more modest assets to reach the cap.
“More than 4 out of 5 older people will not see any benefit from the cap at all if this is allowed to happen.
“We’re fighting to save the cap.
“Your MP can help by voting to protect the cap from these changes when the Health and Care Bill goes to the House of Commons on Wednesday 30th March.”