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State pension and benefit increases come into force

08 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Image: Peter Byrne

The state pension and a raft of other benefits will rise from today.

People receiving the state pension will get a 8.5% increase worth an extra £900 a year to full rate claimants.

Universal credit claimants will receive a 6.7% increase, a rise which extends to other benefits including the personal independence payment, disability living allowance and employment and support allowance.

The UK Government said the rise in the state pension is one of a number of measures aimed at backing Britain’s pensioners.

‘Delighted’

Tory MS Janet Finch-Saunders, whose constituency of Aberconwy has over a quarter of its population aged 65 or over, welcomed the news.

She said: “I am delighted that the UK Government has ensured that the value of the state pension is not overtaken by the increase in the cost of living or the working population’s income.

“For constituencies like Aberconwy, which has a high proportion of pensioners, this investment will go a long way in helping residents with everyday life.

“I have long campaigned to ensure that better support is provided to older people in Aberconwy and Wales, so am delighted that the UK Government is delivering”.

Mel Stride, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “Thanks to the triple lock and our efforts to drive down inflation, we are putting money back in the pockets of pensioners. This is only possible because we have stuck to our plan and our economy has turned a corner.

“This will make a meaningful difference to all those who rely on the state pension and ensure we continue to provide a safety net for those who need it most while making work pay wherever possible.”

National Insurance

Among its other measures to help pensioners, the Department for Work and Pensions pointed to last year’s 10.1% state pension raise, which it claimed was the highest cash increase in history, plus winter support worth nearly £5 billion.

The full state pension rate for last year was £10,600 and will rise to £11,500 a year.

Ministers also pointed to the 2p cut to national insurance announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt at the Budget among measures to help households struggling with living costs.

The Liberal Democrats claimed the extra pension support would be largely wiped out, as more pensioners are dragged into paying income tax as a result of threshold freezes.

Work and pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain said: “Jeremy Hunt has taken a bolt cutter to the triple lock. This Conservative Government is picking pensioners’ pockets to try and fill the black hole caused by their disastrous economic policy.

“These are people who have played by the rules their whole lives, paid their taxes and contributed so much to our society. They expect that in their older years the government would look after them, not place even more financial hardship upon them during a cost-of-living crisis.”

Labour suggested it is now the “party for pensioners”, who it claimed had paid “a heavy price for 14 years of devastating Tory economic failure”.

Alison McGovern, a shadow work and pensions minister, added: “The Tories crashed the economy and unleashed a cost-of-living crisis, pushing pensioners into poverty, or having to rely on their savings just to get by.

“Now we have a fresh threat to family finances and pensioners from the Tories’ £46 billion unfunded cut to national insurance which risks re-running the disastrous Liz Truss experiment.”


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Linda Jones
Linda Jones
1 month ago

8.5% increase wow!! Are we really suppose to celebrate this? Seems to me that 8.5% of nothing is still nothing. The UK has the lowest state pension in the developed world, its a scandal. Its almost half the rate of the state pension in France and a third of the rate in Germany Thirty five years of paying NI in exchange for a starvation state pension. There is nothing to celebrate here.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

JFS is rather on message for the Cons but we have one of the lowest pensions and worst NHS, highest tax burden and massive fuel increases, various insurance costs have skyrocketed, rent and other living costs hobble families every single day and we have a massive increase in food banks, and food remains very high cost and poor selection. Then they are looking to increase the pension age. Now dropping the national insurance but keeping other taxes high, we will suffer for generations, the Conservative are baking in financial pain. Lets have a GE now and see how popular you… Read more »

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
1 month ago

There was an Army song which comes to mind PAY YOU 30 SHILLINGS AND WE TAKE BACK 29 sounds like this pension rise with every thing gone up

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