The Government is fully committed to enabling older people to live with the dignity and respect they deserve. In April, the State Pension was increased by 10.1 per cent, in line with inflation. As a result, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be over £3,050 higher, in cash terms, than in 2010.
Regarding the uprating of the State Pension, the Government is maintaining the Triple Lock in full for 2024/25. This means that in April 2024, the basic State Pension, new State Pension, and Pension Credit minimum guarantee will be uprated in line with September 2023 average earnings growth- 8.5 per cent.
Additionally, while concerns are noted about pensioners that live alone, the Government is providing substantial support for pensioners through the welfare system.
The Government is continuing to provide support to older through the provision of free bus passes, free prescriptions, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments for those in receipt of Pension Credit. The Government is also providing targeted support to older people through the £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment, which will be paid to all households in receipt of Winter Fuel Payments.
All households, including pensioner households, will benefit from the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). This guarantee limits the amount consumers can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. The current price guarantee, set at £3,000, will support households until April 2024. Although energy prices are currently below the level at which EPG payments would be made, it will remain in force until the end of March 2024 to protect households from price spikes, putting in place a safety net for the most vulnerable.
Moreover, the Government is providing an additional £1 billion of funding to enable the extension of the Household Support Fund (HSF) this financial year, bringing total funding to £2.5 billion. Since its launch in October 2021, the HSF has issued early 26 million awards to those in need of support. In the case of Hampshire County Council, £14,248,254 has been allocated to support vulnerable people, including pensioners, with the cost of energy bills, food, and other related essentials.