Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will confirm the annual State Pension and benefits uprating during the Autumn Statement in Parliament this week. However, during a round of interviews over the weekend, Mr Hunt would not be drawn on which measures will be used and argued he needs to take “difficult decisions” as he considers squeezing welfare payments by billions while slashing inheritance tax.

Mr Hunt has also hinted he could unveil tax cuts as he promised an “Autumn Statement for growth” and said now is a “turning point for the economy” after inflation was halved. But slashing inheritance tax while effectively cutting working-age benefit payments for millions of people would draw criticism for supporting the wealthy while society struggles.

Mr Hunt told BBCs Laura Kuensberg on Sunday there is “no easy way to reduce the tax burden” and argued: “What we need to do is take difficult decisions to reform the welfare state.”

Typically, the September figure for inflation when uprating working-age benefits, which would mean a 6.7 per cent increase. However, Mr Hunt has not ruled out using October’s far lower figure of 4.6 per cent, which economists say would cut spending by around £3 billion.

The savings would largely affect working-age households receiving disability or means-tested benefits, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The Sunday Times reported Mr Hunt and the Prime Minister are weighing up cuts to income tax or national insurance, in a last-minute move to boost growth and their favour with voters.

The newspaper also said they could put off the mooted cut to inheritance tax until the spring budget, to avoid allegations they are lavishing the rich with a handout as many struggle.

Former Lib Dem Pensions Minister, Sir Steve Webb also posted a 'benefits cut alert' on X (previously known as Twitter) on Monday. He said: 'Benefit cuts alert - DWP just issued a notice of an 'ad hoc' publication on benefit upratings on Wednesday - in years where they simply pay inflation, they don't do this. Looks like this will be their defensive doc, justifying using the more recent inflation figure."

State Pension annual uprating

Under the Triple Lock, the State Pension increases each year in line with whichever is the highest between average annual earnings growth from May to July (8.5% with bonuses, 7.8% without), Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation in the year to September (6.7%) or 2.5 per cent.

There are growing rumours the UK Government could exclude bonuses from the average earnings measure for the State Pension increase, but even in that situation pensioners would still receive an inflation-beating rise of 7.8 per cent.

The full, New State Pension is currently £203.85 per week. Uprating using the lower wages growth figure (7.8%) would see people receive £219.75 each week, while under the 8.5 per cent figure it would be £221.20.

Those on the maximum Basic State Pension would see payments rise from the current £156.20 a week to £168.40 under an uprating of 7.8 per cent and £169.50 with 8.5 per cent.

Estimated State Pension payments from April 2024

The estimated calculations show the current annual rates for the full New and full Basic State Pensions. The State Pension is usually paid every four weeks with 13 payments made throughout the year.

How much someone receives depends on the number of years worth of National Insurance contributions, around 35 is needed for the full New State Pension, but this may be more if you were contracted out - find out more here.

These estimations are based on the wages growth at 7.8 per cent (excluding employee bonuses) and 8.5 per cent (including employee bonuses). Figures have been rounded using the UK Government’s rounding policy.

Current Annual Full New State Pension - £10,600

  • Weekly: £203.85
  • Every four-week pay period: £815.40

7.8% uprating April 2024 - £11,427 (up £827)

  • Weekly: £219.75
  • Every four-week pay period: £879.00

8.5% uprating April 2024 - £11,502 (up £902)

  • Weekly: £221.20
  • Every four-week pay period: £884.80

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Current Annual Full Basic State Pension - £8,122

  • Weekly: £156.20
  • Every four-week pay period: £624.80

7.8% uprating April 2024 - £8,756 (up £634)

  • Weekly: £168.40
  • Every four-week pay period: £673.55

8.5% uprating April 2024 - £8,814 (up £692)

  • Weekly: £169.50
  • Every four-week pay period: £678.00

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver the Autumn Statement at 12.30pm on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

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