Pensioners do not need budget bonus after triple-lock pension increases, Rishi Sunak suggests

Pensioners have seen their incomes rise enough that they do not need an extra bonus in the budget, Rishi Sunak has suggested, with around a million over-65s in Yorkshire missing out in this week’s announcement.

Yesterday the Prime Minister insisted that he “cares deeply” about pensioners and that they had seen a windfall of around £2,000 due to pension increases and other payments.

He told reporters in Maltby, near Rotherham: “I care very deeply about making sure that people who have worked hard throughout their life have the dignity that they deserve in retirement.

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“That’s the kind of country which I want to deliver and we are delivering it.

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a PM Connect event in Maltby South Yorkshire where he visited a local tea rooms.The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a PM Connect event in Maltby South Yorkshire where he visited a local tea rooms.
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds a PM Connect event in Maltby South Yorkshire where he visited a local tea rooms.

“Most importantly we’re protecting the triple lock, that means that last year pensions went up by around £900, this year they’re about to go up again by around £900. That’s a significant increase for millions of pensioners, almost a 20 per cent increase over two years.

“On top of that all pensioners received an extra payment alongside their winter fuel payment for the winter of up to £300, just to help them with the cost of living.

“I think those actions demonstrate that we are supporting pensioners.”

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His words follow analysis by the Resolution Foundation think tank which suggested that Jeremy Hunt’s budget on Wednesday prioritised workers over pensioners.

The Spring Budget’s headline announcement, to take 2p off national insurance, does not benefit those of state pension age, who are exempt from paying it.

Instead, freezes to tax thresholds mean that eight million taxpaying pensioners are facing tax rises averaging £960 as a result, the think tank noted.

According to the latest census data there are around one million over-65s in Yorkshire and the Humber, with the largest populations situated in Tory heartland seats that under current polling are potentially within the reach of a Labour landslide.

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Analysis by The Yorkshire Post found that eight Tory seats, most of which the Conservatives are set to narrowly hold under current polling, have over a quarter of their population made up of over-65s.

Bridlington and the Wolds, formerly East Yorkshire, currently has a majority of around 20,000 for the Conservatives, but under current polling the party is only 1 per cent ahead of Labour, according to the latest MRP polling by Electoral Calculus.

Following the budget, researchers from More in Common interviewed one of the key voter profiles which will be crucial for the next election.

This type of voter, named “Whitby Woman” is over the age of 60, voted Conservative in 2019, lives in towns like Whitby and has not yet decided who she will vote for come polling day.

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The group felt that the cut to national insurance would not make a real difference in the face of rising bills, shop prices and interest rates.

Pensioners in the group did not understand why there wasn’t anything for them on offer in the Chancellor’s budget.

Luke Tryl, Director at More in Common, told The Yorkshire Post: “For this group of voters, that the Conservative’s must win back if they are to have any chance of stopping Labour getting a majority, the picture was bleak.

“They didn’t think the cuts in National Insurance matched the eye watering rises in prices, bills and interest rates they had seen – and also worried about taking money that could be used to improve creaking public services like the NHS– in some ways this risked being the worst of both worlds for the Government.”

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