In response to the chancellors plans for the economy moving forward laid out in the Autumn Statement John Palmer, Director of Policy & Communications at Independent Age has said:
“After months of uncertainty, it’s right that the government has kept its promise to uprate both benefits and the State Pension with inflation. Today's announcement will provide some relief to the millions of older people living on low and modest incomes, especially the 19% of single pensioners who are solely reliant on the State Pension and other benefits like Pension Credit.
“The hard truth is that every day, our helpline hears from older people making dangerous cutbacks on heating and eating, and some tell us they are scared they won’t survive this winter.
“Currently, up to 850,000 older households don’t receive Pension Credit even though they are eligible for it. This group will now also miss out on the £900 cost of living payment announced by the Government today for those on means-tested benefits. For these people, today’s uprating of benefits will be meaningless unless the government commits to a Pension Credit uptake strategy. Without a strategy to ensure that those entitled receive their much-needed money, the government risks undermining today’s announcements.”