Budget expected to focus on older people
Published on 20 March 2013 12:01 AM
Today, Wednesday 20 March, the Chancellor George Osborne delivers his 2013 Budget and is expected to make older people's issues one of his main focuses.
During an appearance on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Osborne admitted that he was intending to use the Budget to announce a change in the timetable in the introduction of both the new flat-rate State pension, and the social care reform.
There is also a widespread belief that he will cancel a proposed fuel duty increase, due to come into force in September 2013.
Flat-rate state pension
When the announcement of a new flat-rate, state pension was made in January 2013, the expectation was that it would be introduced in 2017.
However, George Osborne has now indicated that he wants the new £144-a-week benefit to come into force a year earlier.
At Age UK, while we believe the new system will make fairer and easier to plan for retirement, we want to ensure that 'the Government does not overlook the needs of the millions of current pensioners who are also struggling to make ends meet.'
Social care costs cap
A cap on the amount someone would have to pay for social care over the course of their lifetime is also now likely to come in a year early in 2016, following the Chancellor's announcement.
In addition, the amount is likely to be reduced from £75,000 to £72,000.
Welfare and tax changes
In addition to these new measures, a number of changes to the welfare system and personal tax allowances are also due to come into force, following their announcement in the autumn.
Against a tide of increased borrowing, slow growth and declining living standards, Osborne is facing a barrage of criticism over the Coalition's austerity measures - which many say are not working.