I was disappointed to see Nils Pratley (The chancellor’s position on lifting the state pension makes no sense, 23 June) support the contention that the UK can’t afford a cost of living increase in pensions . A 10% rise in the state pension of £9,500 is £950 – compare that with the likely £1,800 rise in energy costs. How would the extra cash received by poorer pensioners who wholly or mainly depend on the state pension contribute to inflation? Most would go into the pockets of the energy companies. Surely it would be fairer to have a more progressive tax system for richer pensioners or a progressive rise in energy costs, where the unit price could increase with the amount consumed?
Perhaps the pundits and pontificators decrying the return of the triple lock for pensioners should think about how they would manage on an income of £9,500 per year. This year, the state pension rose by 3.1%, which represented a real reduction of 6% for those forced to exist on this measly amount. The promise of a return to the triple lock next year still leaves state pensioners in shameful poverty – 10% of bugger all is bugger all.
Harrogate, North Yorkshire
The chancellor defends increasing pensions in line with inflation while enforcing pay restraint on public sector workers on the grounds that “pensions are not input costs into the cost of producing goods and services that we all consume, so they don’t add to inflation” (Former Tory minister calls 10% rise in state pension ‘ludicrous’, 22 June). The same argument could be applied to teachers, but the government is unwilling to provide the money to fund a pay increase. Isn’t the real difference that many pensioners are Tory voters and the government fears the electoral consequences of reneging on the triple lock for a second time?
Dr Rhys Jenkins
More evidence of government profligacy towards us oldies: I have just received a letter from the DWP saying that in a fortnight, when I turn 80, my state pension will go up by 25p a week. Should I spend it right away, or wait six months and buy a bottle of wine to celebrate?
St Albans, Hertfordshire