Pensioners could be in line to receive just shy of £1,000 extra to the state pension in April 2023 as the Government touts plans to reinstate the “triple lock”, which has been suspended. The “triple lock” refers to the state pension increases each year in line with the highest point of either inflation, the average wage increase, or the flat rate of 2.5 percent.
However, the rate of inflation – according to the Consumer Prices Index figures released by the Office for National Statistics – soared to 9 percent in the 12 months to April.
This is the highest rate since 1982, meaning that prices are rising faster than they have in 40 years.
This is up from the figures for March, when inflation had already risen to 7 percent.
By the end of the summer, inflation is expected to break into double digits, and if it does, pensions increasing in line with this figure would mean record-breaking payments to those claiming the state pension.
If the Government sticks to its commitment to reinstate the double lock, the state pension payout could surpass £200 per week, according to the Telegraph.
But ministers are fielding calls to bring forward the increase earlier than next April as the cost of living leaves many pensioners struggling to cope with the financial burden.
There are many cases across the country of pensioners in the same position as Mike Gibbons, 75, and his wife, Ev, 72, who both rely on their state pensions to keep themselves afloat.
The couple has been hit with an £88 rise in monthly energy bills as energy costs skyrocket following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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“We just can’t see our children as much as we’d like to.”
However, Robert Joyce of the Institute for Fiscal Studies described a “reluctance to do something so far” on the part of the Government, despite the pressure “to fast-track the rise”.
This comes as Baroness Altmann, the former pensions minister, called the rise in state pension “nowhere near enough” to begin to cover the “basic needs” of the elderly.
Almost 12.5 million people in the UK draw on the state pension, which currently sits at £185.15 per week.
Of these people, around 1.4 million are classed as on a low income and receive the pension credit benefit, and 2 million elderly people in the UK currently live in poverty.
Baroness Altmann described a reality in which those living off their state pensions cannot even keep themselves above the line of “malnutrition”.
The result for retirees will be they cannot “make ends meet”, she said.
She told the i: “It seems to me that the Government often does not realise or understand that there is real hardship for many elderly people in 21st-century Britain.
“Many of the poorest live alone, with nobody to turn to and rely on benefits or fixed small pensions, which have not kept up with the rising cost of living.”
She added: “It is clear that pensioners trying to survive on just the state pension – and there are millions with little or no more than that – will simply not be able to make ends meet.”