Budget 2021: Sunak reveals changes to pension charge caps

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On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £150billion spending plans in his autumn Budget speech. However, millions of pensioners on fixed incomes who face a surge in food and fuel bills as winter looms were left out of any help.

Now, Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, has warned the Conservatives will see droves of older voters abandon the party at the next election.

He told Express.co.uk: “I was flabbergasted that the Chancellor did not mention older people once in his Budget speech.

“It appears that the older generations have been cast adrift by the Government to struggle alone with rising food and energy prices.

“It is obvious that billions were available for every other group in society and that there was a conscious political decision to make older people pay the most for the costs of the pandemic, despite the fearful losses of life we have endured.

“I have to question the morals of the Government when the cost of a glass of prosecco is deemed more important than our pitiful state pension.

“This Budget is the final straw for older voters.

“They will desert the Conservatives in droves at the next election.”

This comes after the Government scrapped the triple lock this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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, the Prime Minister and Chancellor opted for a “double lock” for at least a year and will not include earnings as an indication.

Despite the public outcry over the triple lock scrap, state pensions are set to go up by 3.1 percent next year in line with inflation.

It means the full new state pension will be around £185.17 per week for the 2021/22 tax year.

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This is up by £5.57 from the previous year when it was £179.60, which means claimants will get an extra £289.64 per year, with their income jumping from £9,339.20 for a full 12 months up to £9,628.84.

The suspension of the triple lock has been met with anger among pensioners and politicians.

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”.

Mr Sunak also failed to announce any additional measures today to help the elderly this winter despite their finances being squeezed more than previous years.

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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