The state pension will jump by 3.9 percent which means people entitled to the “new state pension” will receive £175.20 per week and be £344 a year better off. The full rate of the new state pension will increase by £6.60 per week from £168.60. Meanwhile, the basic state pension will rise by £5.05 per week from £129.20 – meaning that in April it will be £1,900 more in cash terms than in 2010. Disability benefits and carers allowance will increase by 1.7 percent next year.
Millions of people of working age will also see their income boosted with the freeze on a host of benefits coming to an end. Working age benefits are expected to rise by 1.7 percent in April.
Benefits affected include jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, housing benefit, universal credit, child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said: “We’re clear the best way for people to improve their lives is through work, but we know some people require additional support.
“Our balanced fiscal approach has built a strong economy, with 3.6 million more people in work since 2010. And it’s that strong economy which allows us to bolster the welfare safety net by increasing benefit payments for working-age claimants now.”
According to her department, there are now 500,000 fewer children living in longterm workless households than in 2010 – a fall of approximately one third.
It claims that people in lower-paid occupations have seen the biggest pay growth, with weekly earnings for factory workers and those in similar roles rising by 8.8 percent in the past five years.
Her department also boasts of a “record rate of single parents in work,” with nine in 10 children now growing up in a household with at least one adult in work.
However Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, has called on the Government to scrap its policy of limiting the child element in universal credit and tax credits to two children.
The 77-year-old former Labour MP, who is standing in this election as a candidate for the Birkenhead Social Justice Party, said: “Any family in this country, except the super-rich, could fall foul of the two-child limit if their circumstances changed for the worse.
“This is exactly why social security must act as a national insurance scheme covering people when they’re most exposed to hardship – not increase it.”
COMMENT BY THERESE COFFEY
Britain is working. There are 3.6 million more people in work than in 2010 – an average of 1,000 jobseekers moving into employment every day.
And three-quarters of that growth in employment is in either full-time, permanent or higher-skilled roles.
The employment rate of lone parents is at a record high; there are more mothers in employment than ever before and 1.15 million more disabled people are in work compared with six years ago.The ranks of the labour market have been swelled by 1.3 million more working parents since 2010, while youth unemployment has almost been halved.
Our balanced fiscal approach has built a strong economy which is projected to outperform Germany and Japan, among others, in the coming year.
And it’s that strong economy which allows us to bolster the welfare safety net.
From April, more than 10 million people will see their benefits rise by the rate of inflation. This will boost the incomes of around 2.4 million people on universal credit, as well as claimants on legacy benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit.
In April the full rate of new state pension will climb by 3.9 percent to £175.20 a week – an extra £344 a year.
We’re clear the best way for people to improve their lives is through work, but we know some people require additional support. It’s right that we regularly review whether that support is at the right level, and today’s announcement is good news for millions.
Therese Coffey is Work and Pensions Secretary