Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds has strongly criticised the UK Conservative Government for its approach to pensioner poverty following Rishi Sunak’s spring statement yesterday.
According to Jane Dodds, the Conservative Government’s decision to abandon the triple-lock on the state pension was leading to a real-term cut as inflation soars. She also criticised the government’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, saying that this was pushing pensioners into poverty.
As of 2020, nearly 1 in 5 pensioners in Wales were already living in poverty, this number has almost certainly risen as the cost of living has spiraled in the last year.
A 3.1% rise in state pension is set to be significantly outflanked by inflation rates of 7% and over for the remainder of the year.
Commenting Jane Dodds said:
“It is completely unacceptable that this Conservative Government is leaving pensioners out in the cold, quite literally.
“Under the Conservative plans outlined yesterday, pensioners look set to see a significant fall in income as the gap between state pension increases and inflation rockets even higher.
“It is quite frankly a disgrace the Chancellor announced nothing aimed at helping people heat their homes yesterday. With energy bills set to rise at an average of £700, or even more in some rural areas. How are people on a state pension meant to find the huge amounts of extra money needed with such a measly increase in pensions?
“I hear from many elderly people in my own region, who have to decide whether to heat their homes or pay for food. Many have been pushed over the edge into poverty by the government’s real-term cut to the state pension and failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
“This is an issue for everyone. Young people today who are in insecure employment and can’t make it onto the property ladder have to have confidence that there will be an adequate state pension for them later in life.
“The UK Government must listen and act urgently. Otherwise more people will be left to suffer.”