WHERE does Frank Wood of Port Glasgow (Letters, May 26) get the idea that pensioners in receipt of state pension “look like they’ll stay close to inflation”. In his mind we “get an increase based on September’s 12-month figure.”

Doesn’t Frank Wood read The National, where it has been highlighted that state pensions this year would rise by 3.1% although the inflation rate applicable to the increase should have been more than 8%?

Pensions have certainly not kept in line with inflation.

On March 10 2014, my pension of £101.60 and Pension Credit of £29.89 (grand total £131.49) were paid into my bank. On Wednesday March 12, I had a haircut. It cost me £6. Just over a fortnight ago, on May 7 2022, I visited the same hairdresser’s shop for my latest haircut. It cost me £12. At that rate, if my pension is keeping up with inflation, I should now be receiving £203.20 in pension payments and £59.78 in Pension Credit, making a total of £262.98.

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Wrong!!! Today my pension pays £129.20 and I receive £39.16 in Pension Credit, total £168.36. The price of a haircut has doubled but my pension income has increased by only 28% in the same period. In 2014 petrol was 98p per litre. Today it’s £1.64 (approximately – depends where you go) per litre. That’s an increase of 68%. So, once more, my pension payments lag far behind reality. And that’s to say nothing about the massive hike in heating and lighting costs over the last couple of months.

The only thing that has remained consistent over that period is that my pension and Pension Credit have regularly been around 28.8% of the average weekly wage. This means that everyone is suffering the same ever-increasing gap between income and expenditure. It’s not just this year. It’s been going on since the day I retired.

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For a country as rich as Scotland it’s ludicrous that we should receive such a pittance. I met a chap from Arnhem, in Holland, in 2014. At that time his pension was €1300 per four weeks. There are actually thirteen four-weekly periods in a year so he received two payments in December. One at the start of the month and the second on the 15th of the month so he could spend it on Christmas. At that time his €1300 represented about £300 per week. That’s double what I receive today – seven years later.

I’m sorry to disappoint Frank Wood, or anyone else who might be intending depending on the state pension. My advice would be, make sure you organise a private pension to see you through your retirement because, unless we get independence and rectify the pension situation, then in another 10 years or so it won’t be worth having!

Charlie Kerr

ALTHOUGH Rishi “Rich List” Sunak has announced help with rising energy costs, he has failed to take into account the numerous people who suffer from terminal illnesses such as cancer. These individuals require more energy to keep warm; they also need special food supplements, essential home care equipment, home adaptations and transport. Even factoring in multi-millionaire Sunak’s paltry hand-outs, this means many people with a fatal condition will have to choose between heating and food.

Stephen McCarthy

“SEE what I did there?” said Rishi Sunak to his pals. He could have done what France has done and capped all the energy prices. Instead he invented (again) lots of money to give to the millions of people facing horrendous increases in their electricity and gas bills. They will then give all this money to his friends, the multi-billionaire energy companies. Job done.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll