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Income Tax Policies: Pensioners

Volume 747: debated on Tuesday 19 March 2024

The Government have nearly doubled the personal allowance since 2010, and in 2024-25 it will be more than 20% higher in real terms than if it had been uprated by inflation since 2010-11. The personal allowance is currently set at a high enough level to ensure that pensioners whose sole income is the full rate of the new state pension, or the basic-rate pension, do not pay any income tax.

I have been contacted by pensioners in my constituency who get a full state pension plus protected payments from the old scheme. The increase in their pensions in line with inflation has put them over the personal allowance threshold for paying income tax, which has eaten away at that increase. Was it the Minister’s intention in the Budget to drag pensioners into paying income tax?

As I have outlined, and as the Resolution Foundation and others have pointed out, pensioners have gained about £1,000 on average as a result of the Government’s decisions since 2010 to increase thresholds. Some pensioners rely solely on the state for their incomes, and we are supporting pensioners through a variety of other measures: not only the triple lock but pension credit and cost of living support. Pensioners across the country will benefit from the 8.5% increase coming in April.

I welcome the recent tax cuts. We need to ensure that those who work hard and do the right thing are rewarded in their old age. Can the Treasury please stop allocating funds to France, which is clearly not stopping the boats, stop extortionate amounts being spent on hotels for illegal migrants, and reduce the foreign aid budget? Maybe then we can give even more to our pensioners.

My hon. Friend will be well aware that Government Members are implementing measures to tackle the very problems she outlines while turning the corner in the economy and doing everything we can to put more money back in people’s pockets, whether workers or pensioners.