04 June 2015

State pension: too little, and getting less

In 2011, I commented on the fact that the basic state pension is acknowledged to be well below the level of income needed to reach a minimum living standard.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s most recent report* on this, the annual cost of the ‘minimum basket of goods and services needed for an acceptable living standard’ for a single adult is now £10,155. The current full basic state pension, on the other hand, is £6,029 per annum – 40% below this minimum level.

The typical annual council tax alone takes up a sizeable proportion of the current state pension. A single pensioner living in even a modest home can easily spend over £1000 per annum on council tax, nearly 20% of his income, if forced to rely on the state pension.

Incidentally, the Rowntree Foundation report notes that the cost of the minimum basket has risen ‘by between a quarter and a third’ since 2008. If we assume that 33% is the more realistic figure, then the government’s CPI figure, which is one of the factors used to determine increases in the state pension, but which has risen only 19% over the same period, has severely understated the inflation faced by low-income pensioners, with the result that the annual pension has actually fallen in real terms since 2008.

I appeal for financial and moral support in improving my position.
I need people to provide moral support both for fund-raising, and as temporary or possibly long-term workers. Those interested should read my post on interns.

* Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2014’