Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has said that today’s inflation figures show that the state pension is being allowed to “wither on the vine”.
Under the ‘triple lock’ arrangement, the basic state pension rises every year by the greater of earnings, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 2.5%. With earnings expected to be low and CPI at 1.2%, the state pension will therefore rise in line with the guaranteed minimum of 2.5%.
This will mean an increase next April of £2.80 a week in the basic state pension taking it to £115.90, and for many women an increase of just £1.70 a week on top of their £67.80 a week.
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Over the last few years, the decision to change from the RPI (Retail Price Index) to the CPI has effectively robbed older people of a proper increase in their pensions, but the real issue isn’t about the size of the percentage increase, but how low the state pension remains.
“After all, ten per cent of nothing is still nothing. Many older people are struggling with the rising costs of living and our pensions are simply not high enough. Yet everyday commentators claim that older people have escaped the austerity measures. What a load of nonsense.
“Over 6m older people have an income of less than £10,500 a year, the UK’s state pension system is 36th out of 37 OECD countries and millions of pensioners are having to count every penny.”” Without action to raise the basic state pension and then ensure it maintains its purchasing power, I’m afraid the government are simply letting it wither on the vine.”