With inflation projected to peak in excess of 8% this year, anyone on a fixed income, the State Pension for example, needs an increase of 8% to stand still.
Unfortunately, the State Pension is increasing by 3% and so in real terms, pensioners with no other sources of income will see a reduction in their purchasing power 2022-23 of 5%.
Whilst the Chancellor did increase the ceiling below which no employees NIC is payable and he did knock 5p of petrol duty, there was little or no targeted support for individuals who are not employed.
This apparent lack of support for voters who are facing a real threat to their disposable income is surprising.
With the war in Ukraine stimulating gas and oil prices – and other commodities – the Chancellor could have offered a larger reduction in fuel duty than the fixed 5p. He could also have raised a windfall tax on oil company profits to fund increased support for families struggling to pay their utility bills.
It will be interesting to see if Chancellor Sunak has a wider, more inclusive vision when he prepares his autumn budget later this year.