Pension and Income Support payments set to increase
The Committee for Employment and Social Security has drafted policy letters detailing changes to old age pensions and income support payments.
The full rate of old age pension is set to increase by £5.09, taking it to £217.36 per week.
It’s proposed that the income support rates should increase above inflation this year – by between 2.9% and 4.1% – to account for the costs of the new household waste charges that are due to come into place early next year.
It’s understood this will allow the householder half a black bag per week, with an extra quarter bag for every additional member of the house.
President for ESS, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, believes this will mean ‘those with low income will not be pushed further into poverty when the charges are introduced in early 2019’.
It’s proposed the benefit limitation will rise from £670 per week, to £750.
However, the amount a household can receive will depend on earnings, other income and other benefits, meaning the ‘vast majority’ will be receiving much less than £750 per week.
We’re told the current benefit limitation means 224 families are living on an income which represents intolerable levels of poverty, while the new increase would reduce that number to 109.
Deputy Le Clerc says:
‘The impact of the benefit limitation is a serious concern and the closure of the rent rebate scheme means that it can no longer be ignored.
‘224 families, including 721 children, are currently affected.
‘The benefit limitation must be increased or these children will continue to live in poverty, this year’s increase will mitigate the effect but not remove it.
‘That is why the Committee is proposing a real terms increase this year and will bring the matter to the States again early next year to seek a long term solution.’
The proposals are due to be taken to the States next month.