Warning state pension rise is not enough for Lanarkshire pensioners

The increase to the state pension will not be enough for thousands of Lanarkshire pensioners trying to cope with the cost of living crisis.

The Conservative Government have introduced an “energy rebate” scheme which will see all energy bills reduced by a flat £200 in October, followed by all bills going up by £40 per year for the next five years, in a bid to soften the blow caused by increases to energy prices.

However, research from the Labor party now suggests that saving will be eliminated by a decline in real terms of the basic state pension, which will hit pensioners in the pocket.

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The state pension is set to increase by 3.1 per cent later this year, but Labor say the rising cost of inflation, which is currently 4.8 per cent, means that the basic state pension for an individual will be worth around £222 less in real terms over a year than in 2021/22.

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency would see 17,711 people affected as a result.

The Labor list MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy believes the decision not to offer a greater increase will have a disastrous effect on locals, and believes the Scottish Government need to offer a sharper response to the Westminster change.

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Pam Duncan Glancy
Pam Duncan Glancy

She told Lanarkshire Live: “At a time of rising energy bills and prices going up in the shops, Tory MPs have pushed through a real-term’s cuts to pensions and the support people and families rely on.

“With people, families and pensioners struggling to make ends meet along with rising child and pensioner poverty this is clear proof that the Conservatives are simply not on the side of working people or pensioners.

“The SNP’s dithering is not delivering reassurance for people either, my constituents across Rutherglen need to see long-term solutions, not stop gaps that leave people lurching from one crisis into the next.

“It’s clear that only Labor will always stand up for pensioners guaranteeing older people the respect, security and prosperity they deserve.

“We have set out clear plans on how we would protect those most at risk from the rising cost of living, and we urge the SNP to take our calls on board and deliver urgent action.”

This week’s Commons vote saw it confirmed that Universal Credit’s standard allowance will rise by £10.07 a month on April 11 to £334.91 for over-25s while the state pension will go up by £5.55 a week.

Work and pensions minister David Rutley told the Commons the move will mean pensioners are over £2,000 better off than they were when the Conservatives took power 12 years ago.

He said: “The state pension is a foundation of support for older people. With this order the basic state pension will rise to £149.26 a week for a single person. This means that a full yearly basic state pension will increase by £2,300 a year higher in cash terms than in April 2010.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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