Pensioners: Cost of Living

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th February 2022.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking with Chancellor of the Exchequer to help support pensioners with increases in the cost of living.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This country has 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 Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Act 2020 raised the State Pension by 2.5% from April 2021 although CPI was 0.5% and earnings were negative. 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.

In addition, around 1.4 million eligible pensioners across Great Britain receive around £5 billion annually in Pension Credit, which tops up their retirement income and act as a passport to other financial help, such as support with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and a free TV licence for those over 75.

Cold weather payments are payable to those in receipt of Pension Credit and the warm home discount - a rebate of £140 on a customer’s energy bill - is available to those in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. From 2022/23 the eligibility criteria for the warm home discount scheme will be extended to a greater number of Pension Credit customers and the payment increased to £150.

Customers of State Pension age are also entitled to an annual Winter Fuel payment worth up to £300. This winter we will pay over 11m pensioners a winter fuel payment at an annual cost of £2bn which is a significant contribution to winter fuel bills.

The Chancellor’s announcement on 3 February of a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23, will also be available to eligible pensioners.

Further support for pensioners includes free eye tests and NHS prescriptions worth around £900m every year and free bus passes worth £1bn every year.

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