Extra £300 payment for pensioners ‘doesn’t come close enough’ as energy bills rise

Rishi Sunak is being 'generous' with payouts says caller

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In a poll by Express.co.uk, readers were asked: “Do you think the £300 one-off payment for pensioners is enough?” An overwhelming majority of those surveyed, 86 percent of respondents, said “no”, while only 11 percent clicked “yes” when asked if they thought it was enough. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the support package last month as part of a wider financial aid package to address the cost of living crisis.

This one-off payment is available to those who are in receipt of the already-existing Winter Fuel Payment with around eight million pensioners being eligible for it.

Older people who were born on or before September 26, 1955 are able to get from £100 to £300 for their energy bills through the Winter Fuel Payment.

The payment is not taxable and does not impact a benefit recipient’s existing claims with the DWP.

Households are being told to prepare for the energy price cap to likely hit £2,800 in October this year which means many older Britons will be in further need of the extra £300.

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For the Winter Fuel Payment in 2022/23, people who qualify and live alone and were born between September 25, 1942 and September 25, 1956, will get £500. If they were born on or before September 25, 1942, they will receive £600.

People who qualify and live with someone under 80 who also qualifies, will get £250 if they were born between September 25, 1942 and September 25, 1956. Those who were born on or before September 25, 1942 can claim £350.

Those who qualify and live with someone 80 or over who also qualifies can get £250 if they were born between September 25, 1942 and September 25, 1956. They can also get £300 if they were born on or before September 25, 1942.

Households who qualify and live with someone who gets certain benefits can get £500 if only one of the couple gets the DWP payment if they were born between September 25, 1942 and September 25, 1956. They will get £600 if they were born before the latter date.

Express.co.uk readers shared their thoughts about the extra £300 payment for pensioners and what they want to see changed.

One reader named In Love with Democracy said: “Well, £300 doesn’t come close to the £32,000 my WASPI wife lost. That loss set us back for the rest of our retirement.”

Another named STV7 added: “Pensioners and disabled people tend to need more heating in their homes so £300 is not enough.”

This user also pointed out the triple lock mechanism was temporarily suspended last year, adding: “A very poor move from Sunak.”

A reader named “pessimistic miss” said: “Pensioners should have got their triple lock amount this year – it was put in place originally to protect us from the cost of living.

“That, together with the £300, would just about bring us to where we should be.”

Another reader with the name Maggie Robb added: “How can it be enough when the pension rises by a pittance.

“Where is all the money supposed to come from when you have already been living on the edge? Only way is not to use energy, which means living off cold food and turning the heating off, which isn’t too hard now but will be in winter.”

Despite the concern of many readers, financial experts have praised the Government’s latest intervention as welcome “relief” for some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

Jenny Holt, a managing director for Customer Savings and Investments at Standard Life, explained: “The one-off pensioner payment will provide some relief for pensioner households, who’ve had to navigate a challenging few months.

“Given that the state pension rose by less than inflation this year, many pensioners have found the rising cost of living environment tough, and particularly those who are eligible for this extra payment.

“While pensioners will have to wait until later in the year to receive this extra income, it will still provide some respite ahead of the state pension triple lock being reinstated next year.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We recognise that millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living, which is why, in addition to the more than £22 billion announced previously, we are providing over £15 billion in further support, targeted particularly at those with the greatest need.

“This year we’ll support more than 12 million pensioners through our Energy Bill Support Scheme and Winter Fuel Payments. On top of this, all pensioner households will receive an additional £300 to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter.

“We also continue to work with stakeholders to increase awareness of Pension Credit – including as part of a recently launched campaign – with take-up now at its highest level since 2010. Those receiving Pension Credit will also be eligible to receive an extra £650 Cost of Living payment.”

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