This week the Office for National Statistics published September’s annual 12-month inflation figure, which stands at a low 0.5% despite the efforts of the ‘Pig Out to Help Out’ scheme over the summer. As well as meaning that the cost of living is almost flat, this also impacts anyone claiming a State Pension which will now rise by 2.5% from April next year. In £ terms those on the new State Pension will see a princely rise of £4.40 a week to £179.60.
The rise of 2.5% is thanks to the so-called ‘triple lock’. This is a measure to keep the state pension amount gradually ticking up – it’s a promise that it will go up by the highest of wage growth, the rise in the cost of living, or 2.5%.
Because inflation is next to nothing (spending has been so low this year and the economy has had almost no caffeine in it) the Government will step in with the ‘extra shot’ which is their 2.5% minimum increase commitment.
Like much to do with public spending and taxes, this is all up for debate over the coming months and years as we try and work out how to dust ourselves off (example of the British art of understatement there) and climb out of this hole. Is this guaranteed rise of at least 2.5% a year fair?
Not every sector is in the doldrums. Online investing has been buoyant. Data out yesterday from broker AJ Bell revealed an increase in DIY investor clients for them of over 40% over the last 12 months. And Hargreaves Lansdown’s share price was perkier yesterday, up by about 5%. Tallies with what you tell us – despite misgivings about the economy and the local stock market, you are still investing and looking for opportunities more globally. Activity continues.
For those feeling less buoyant we’ll cling to news of the developing vaccines. I have never been looking forward to a flipping injection so much. They could stick it into my backside with a rusty bicycle pump for all I care! Having ruined your Fridays with that image, maybe it’s a good time to close!
Thanks to everyone who left a review of their online ISA or pension provider last week. If anyone didn’t and is happy to help us test a revised journey, please add your review here. £100 up for grabs for one randomly selected winner, to be announced here with due pomp and ceremony next week.
Have a lovely weekend all – and happy half-term. What could be better than a week of rain with bored kids hanging around the house? SUCH FUN!