- Latest inflation numbers show State Pension rise of 3.1% will leave poorest pensioners struggling.
- Pensioners have been stripped of the protection they were promised and many will struggle to afford heating.
- The poorest pensioners have lost the earnings inflation protection for Pension Credit that was in law for around 20 years.
The latest inflation figures showing CPI inflation reached a two-year high of 5.1% last month, confirm again that the 3.1% increase for State Pensions is completely inadequate to protect pensioners.
Those who are wholly reliant on State benefits have been left without the protection they were promised from the triple lock at the last election and by British law for the past few decades.
The poorest pensioners have been covered by an earnings uprating provision for Pension Credit since it was introduced in 2003.
How will pensioners afford to heat their homes when so many were already struggling, 2 million are living in poverty and 1 million are in extreme fuel poverty.
As the house of Lords clearly warned, the September CPI figure was artificially low and was not appropriate to use for uprating. The upward bias of the earnings inflation figure could have been adjusted for and the poorest pensioners would not have suffered in the way they will be doing in the coming year.
Government needs to offer more protection for at least the poorest pensioners – those who are oldest in particular, the majority of whom are women.
An extra payment to recognise the extreme inflation situation may be needed to avoid more pensioners dying over the next year as they cannot afford adequate heating and sustenance.
There is no sign of an end to inflation pressures. As energy and raw material prices keep rising, while global supply chain pressures increase, the poorest pensioners who generally have little or no other incomes, the plight of millions of pensioners will keep worsening. These citizens are not well off and need Government protection to survive.