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Government rejects call to increase state pension by £500 a year

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

A petition calling for the basic state pension to be increased by £500 a year as an emergency measure has been rejected by the government.

Thousands of people signed a petition urging the government to increase the state pension by £500 a year as an emergency measure after the pension triple lock was scrapped for one year.

The petition stated that the pension triple lock – calculates increases to the state pension each year by the higher of average earnings, inflation or 2.5% – was suspended before the full impact of the energy crisis on prices was known.

A decision was taken to abandon the use of the earnings element of the state pension triple lock for one year due to the unprecedented fluctuations to earnings caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.

By sticking to the triple lock formula, pensioners would have been granted an increase of more than 8%.

Instead, the state pension will rise by 3.1% this April, in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

The petition wrote: “Silver Voices estimates that the 3.1% increase in pensions due in April will be about half the prevailing rate of inflation then. A lump sum increase of £500 pa would cover the losses to pensioners caused by the triple lock suspension and help ensure millions of older people don’t have to choose between eating and heating this winter.”

It gained more than 16,000 signatures but the government responded that it had no plans to increase the state pension by £500 a year as an emergency measure.

The Department for Work and Pensions responded: “We have never paid our pensioners more. This year, we will spend over £129 billion on the State Pension and benefits for pensioners in Great Britain. From April, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be around £720 more in 2022/23 than if it had been up-rated by prices since 2010. That’s a rise of over £2,300 in cash terms.

“The suspension of the Triple Lock for one year is a temporary response to exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic. This approach is fair to both pensioners and younger taxpayers. The Government remains committed to the Triple Lock for the remainder of this Parliament.”