16,000 pensioners in Lewes to be hit by £1,000 stealth tax bombshell following the Budget

13 Mar 2024
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16,798 pensioners in Lewes constituency are set to be hit with a £16 million stealth tax following the Budget, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Research by the Resolution Foundation think tank has found pensioners are set to lose out from this week's Budget. This is due to the Conservative government's decision to freeze income tax thresholds, which will lead to a £8 billion tax bombshell for pensioners across the country by 2027-28, or an average of £1,000 each.

Further analysis by the Liberal Democrats suggests this will impact on the estimated 16,798 pensioners in Lewes who pay income tax.

Lewes Liberal Democrats have said that this showed the Conservative Party has "abandoned" pensioners who are already struggling to pay the bills.

The Liberal Democrats were the first party to commit in full to the triple lock for the upcoming election, which ensures pensions will see an increase by whichever is highest of average earnings growth, CPI inflation, or 2.5%.

Liberal Democrats have called on the government to double the Winter Fuel Allowance to offer extra help to pensioners, paid for by a proper windfall tax on the oil and gas companies.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Lewes, James MacCleary, said:

"Pensioners who have worked hard and paid taxes all their lives are now being punished by this Conservative government with a £1,000 stealth tax.

"Many elderly people are already struggling to make ends meet as heating bills and the cost of the weekly shop go through the roof. Now these Conservative tax hikes will only pile on the misery.

"The Liberal Democrats are proud of our record of introducing the triple lock to protect people's pensions. We will stand up for the pensioners in our community who have been cruelly abandoned by the Conservatives, including by calling on the Government to double the Winter Fuel Allowance."

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The data can be found here.

The Resolution Foundation research can be found here.

According to the Resolution Foundation, around 8 million pensioners (roughly 70% of all UK pensioners) are taxpayers, losing from freezes to Income Tax thresholds but not benefitting from NI changes (because they are already exempt from paying NI).

Compared to where the personal allowance might have been in 2027-28 without freezes, the average taxpaying pensioner will lose around £1,000. In total, policy will have increased taxes for pensioners by around £8 billion.

Liberal Democrat analysis allocated the 8 million pensioners among Parliamentary constituencies based on their total number of current pensioners. The constituency hit assumes all affected pensioners face the average hit of £1,000. Current pensioner figures sourced from DWP Stat-Xplore.

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