Pensioners left £1,318 worse off by Coalition


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The Independent Online

The current Government's fiscal and monetary policies will have cost pensioners an average of £1,318 by the end of the next financial year, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The think-tank warned this week that pensioners have been hardest hit by record low interest rates combined with measures such as the £100 cut in winter fuel payments and the abolition of age-related allowances.

Two out of five single pensioners in the lowest income bracket are now forced to struggle on £8,034 a year, with couples having just £13,883 in order to make ends meet. But even wealthy households have been hit, with better-off couples losing up to £5,345, equivalent to a 13 per cent fall in annual income.

Ros Altmann, director-general of Saga, said: "Pensioners are being hammered. They didn't cause our economic meltdown yet they have been paying a heavy price as we try to fix it and they face an even tighter financial squeeze in future."

She warned that those retiring now are set to be hit by Coalition tax and benefit changes.

"The Government's actions will compound the misery wreaked by paltry savings rates, plunging annuity rates and overshooting inflation," she said.

"Instead of pumping hundreds of billions of pounds into financial markets and bank balance sheets it would have been better sending cheques to everyone to encourage them to spend," said Ms Altmann.

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