I am pleased to announce the proposed social security benefit and pension rates for 2018/19. I have attached the table of rates to this statement and I will place a copy of the proposed benefit and pension rates 2018/19 in the House Library. The annual up-rating of benefits will take place for state pensions and most other benefits in the first full week of the tax year. In 2018, this will be the week beginning 9 April. A corresponding provision will be made in Northern Ireland.
The annual up-rating process takes into account a variety of measures:
- The basic and new State Pension will be increased by the Government’s ‘triple lock’ commitment, meaning that they will be up-rated in line with the highest of prices, earnings or 2.5% - in this case CPI at 3%.
- The legislative requirement for the Pension Credit Standard Minimum Guarantee is that it is increased at least in line with earnings. However to protect the poorest pensioners, the Pension Credit Standard Minimum Guarantee will be up-rated by the same cash amount as the rise in the full rate of the basic State Pension.
- Benefits linked to the additional costs of disability, and for carers, are increased by the annual rise in prices, as reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). A number of other elements – including Non-Dependant Deductions (NDDs) – will also be up-rated in line with prices.
- The majority of working-age benefits have been frozen at their 2015/16 levels for four years under the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016.
The list of proposed benefit and pension rates also includes a change to the Carer’s Allowance Earnings Rule, which will be increased for 2018/19 from £116 to £120 a week.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: