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Government has broken pledge to protect pensioners – TUC

Changes to welfare and pensions will cost pensioner households a total of £6.38bn a year, according to an economic analysis commissioned by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

The annual cash losses are caused by a range of government policies and decisions, including the change from RPI to CPI to calculate the uprating of benefits, the reduction in pension credit, the reduction in value of the attendance allowance, and coming changes under Universal Credit.

The study, by Howard Reed of Landman Economics, has prompted the TUC to say “the worst is yet to come”.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government want people to think that their welfare reforms have targeted so-called scroungers, while pensioners have been spared the pain. After all, the prime minister pledged to protect pensioner benefits during the last general election campaign. The reality, however, is very different. Pensioner families have had been hit hard by the chancellor’s social security axe, with their incomes set to be slashed by over £6bn a year.”

The analysis shows the annual cuts to benefit spending on pensioner households between from 2010 to 2016-17, in 2014 prices:

  • Disability benefits £340m
  • Out of work benefits £20m
  • Pension credit £3.85bn
  • Retirement pension £1bn
  • Tax credits £940m
  • Child benefit £20m
  • Housing benefit £230m
  • TOTAL £6.38bn
  • Total (including Universal Credit) £8.75bn

The TUC says this analysis shows that the government has broken its pre-election pledge to protect pensioner benefits, because a quarter of all the social security cuts announced so far affect families where at least one adult is above state pension age and where no adults below the state pension age are in paid work (but where one adult in a couple may be below state pension age and workless).

The TUC said: “Universal Credit will make unemployed men and women in their mid-60s the new so-called ‘workshy scroungers’, with many people no longer able to claim pension credit. Instead they will only be eligible for less generous working age support and will also be subject to the government’s benefit sanctions regime.”

The Landman Economics analysis uses the Family Resources Survey (FRS) to consider how families across the UK will be affected by social security changes. Its analysis does not include transitional protection, which will not be available for new claimants and will not be uprated in line with inflation.

The full analysis will be published on Thursday, 17 August.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]


Robert Jenkins   18/08/2014 at 13:21

This clearly displays the blatant lies and spin oozing out of this spiteful Prime Minister and his Party, whilst tax cuts for the wealthy and obscene bonuses for top earners continues unabated. Little wonder Scotland wants to exit the Union! Stand up for UKIP.

Mrs G   18/08/2014 at 13:48

Just a minute, pensioners - how do they get £20m on Child Benefit???

Eric Firth   26/08/2014 at 09:22

Nothing that this Tory led coalition does surprises me any more they treat ordinary folk with contempt. They have repeated the lie that the Labour Party are responsible for the world recession so often they believe it, when anyone with half a brain is well aware that it was caused by the bankers, who are throwing cash into the Tory coffers, well my pensioner friends what will they do next? Take away your bus passes? Remove your winter fuel allowance? Don't be surprised for I won't

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