Amid growing pressure on the UK’s elderly, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused of ‘manipulation’, with campaigner Jan Shortt claiming the government is ‘gambling with people’s lives’. Ms Shortt, from the National Pensioners Convention, said pensioners in the UK “feel very let down” by the government. She slammed the government’s promise to reinstate the triple pension lock next year – after it was suspended for the year 2022-23 – saying ‘help is needed right now’.
According to an analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, around 600,000 people will fall into poverty due to the Chancellor’s failure to raise benefits in line with inflation.
Their report also said the 1.25% increase in national insurance contributions would make the situation worse.
It found that poor households, including pensioners, will lose £445 each year due to the changes.
A report by Age UK shows that there are already 2.1 million pensioners living in poverty, or 18% of UK pensioners.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Shortt said: “The government often tells us that they are protecting pensioners, they are committed to protecting pensioners.
“But if they are committed to protecting pensioners, how come there are already 2.1 million pensioners living in poverty?
“There will be another 600,000 people who will fall into poverty.
“If they are taking care of pensioners, how come the over 75s have to pay for their TV license if they don’t have a pension credit?
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“It’s necessary right now to keep your head above water.
“It’s ironic saying ‘we’ll be good to you next year’.
“That’s not the point. People are desperate now.
“We are still the fifth richest country in the world, despite covid. So there is no reason for that.
“It’s gambling and you’re gambling with people’s lives.
“People are struggling now. Retirees have been struggling for a long time.”