A petition calling on the UK Government to increase State Pension payments to match the new National Living Wage rate has been signed by more than 35,300 supporters across every council area in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
An interactive map, hosted on the petition-parliament website, shows a colour-coded map of the UK with the number of signatures of support by council area.
From the top of Scotland in Orkney and Shetland down to St.Ives in Cornwall and across to Northern Ireland via Wales, thousands of people have shown their digital support in asking the UK Government to increase State Pension payments to £19,760 per year, the equivalent to £380 each week.
The suggested increase would bring State Pension payments into line with the recent rise on April 1 to the National Living Wage, which is now £9.50 an hour for people aged over 23 working a 40-hour week – the equivalent to an annual salary of £ 19,760.
State Pension payment rates increased by 3.1% on April 11, 2022, which means the basic State Pension will go up to £141.85 per week from £137.60 and the full, new State Pension will rise to £185.15 from £179.60 – payments are made in arrears so the uplift will not been seen straight away.
But the cost of living crisis, heightened by soaring energy bills, is putting additional pressure on household finances, which cannot keep up with rising inflation which now sits at 7% and is expected to jump even higher next month.
For many of the 12.4 million people across the UK claiming their State Pension, including 981,399 living in Scotland, it is potentially going to hit them hardest as this could be their only source of income.
However, the ‘Increase the State Pension to £19,760 a year (£380 a week)’ petition, which was created last month by Stephen Edward Wyatt and posted on the petition-parliament website, has now gathered more than 35,300 signatures of support ( at time of writing) – enough to trigger an official response from the UK Government.
At 100,000 signatures, this petition would also be considered for debate in Parliament.
The petition reads: “The [UK] Government should raise the State Pension to match the yearly equivalent of the National Living Wage (NLW).
“The NLW is rising to £9.50 an hour (ie £19,760 a year for F/T 40h per week), which we are told is needed to live, yet pensioners are expected to live on a state pension of £7,376 a year. ”
It continues: “The State Pension is not enough to live on. All people regardless of standing are supposed to be looked on as equal, this is clearly not the case.
“Most people have paid into the State Pension through National Insurance Contributions during their working life.
“Most pensioners live active lives and have to pay the same bills as others have to find money for but are expected to do it on less than half the income of those on the National Living Wage, this is unacceptable.”
The petition ends by asking the UK Government to “level up and treat everyone the same, this is the right thing to do”.
The petition will close on August 25, 2022 – read it in full here.
How to use the interactive petition map
To find out how many people in your are have signed the map, open the petition-parliament page here, then either scroll over the map for your location or use the pull down search bar at the bottom of the page.
You can zoom in and out using the onscreen navigation tools on the right-hand side of the web page.
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