Press Statement: Budget ‘Forgets’ 12.5 Million Older People:
While billions of pounds are being borrowed to fill the pockets of bankers, corporations, businesses and the wealthiest working age people in society, the income of older people was not considered by the Chancellor at all. The majority of state pensioners pay little or no tax and national insurance
There was no confirmation that the Triple Lock would be restored to the state pension and Silver Voices had hoped that the increase due next April would be brought forward to 1 October
The health and social care levy has been scrapped with no firm assurance that the billons it would have raised will be applied to resolve the social care crisis
Silver Voices is concerned that the cost of the borrowing required to meet the Chancellor’s tax handouts will inevitably lead to a new age of austerity with the vital public services, which older people rely on, being slashed to the bone
Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices said: “The stated objective of the Budget is to provide more cash in the pockets of the population to encourage spending and therefore grow the economy. Because older people have been “forgotten”, millions of senior citizens who will be scraping their pennies together this winter to avoid hunger and hypothermia, will not be contributing to this plan. Older people will not be buying luxury goods, or going to the theatre, or going on holiday, because they will be confined to their cold houses through poverty. The basic income of a quarter of the adult population has been ignored and senior citizens are looking to us to protest on their behalf.”
We will be saying more about the threat to the NHS and social care, and public services generally, in due course. Do publicise our reaction to the Budget locally as our voice is not being heard.
Energy Support for Off-Grid Households, Mobile Home Parks etc.
The Government announced further measures to support those who ‘missed out’ on the earlier energy package. The £400 electricity discount “will now be extended to include people such as park home residents and those tenants whose landlords pay for their energy via a commercial contract”. We do not know how these £400 payments will be delivered but the Government promises legislation to make sure it happens.
People living off-grid or who rely on heating oil or liquid gas for their heating are not so fortunate. They have been offered a measly £100 towards their soaring costs. Again, we do not know how this will be delivered. The impact of this lack of support will be keenly felt in Northern Ireland, where 60% of households rely on heating oil.
The Government is playing down the rise in costs for oil and liquid gas users. Our member Heather tells a different story:
“I have spent £4,876 on heating oil so far this year, as I heat both the house and water with oil. I now have a full tank to start the winter, but £100 is a drop in the ocean and that is an understatement. Needless to say, the heating is not switched on yet!”
26 September 2022