From 7th April the State Pension will rise by 3.9%, an increase of just over £5 per week. The state Pension for those who reached pension age before April 2016 will therefore be £134.25 and, for those reaching pensionable age after that date, it will be £175.20 per week. More significantly, if you have any resident pensioners who qualified for Adult Dependency Increase (which was available to pensioners who had a financially dependent spouse), they will no longer be able to claim this benefit as it has been phased out completely. This could leave couples up to £70 per week worse off.
Whichever circumstances apply to your residents, it is clear that, once again, the absence of any new thinking on supporting the cost of providing social care, care homes will have little opportunity to make up the increased labour costs imposed on them by the new minimum wage rates which are set to rise by up to 6.5% in April.
The new minimum hourly rates from April are:
- The National Living Wage for ages 25 and above – up 6.2% to £8.72
- The National Minimum Wage for 21 to 24-year-olds – up 6.5% to £8.20
- For 18 to 20-year-olds – up 4.9% to £6.45
- For under-18s – up 4.6% to £4.55
- For apprentices – up 6.4% to £4.15