MORE than 18,500 pensioners are set to be hit by a £1,000 “stealth tax” following the Budget, according to Taunton and Wellington the Liberal Democrats.

The party quoted research by the Resolution Foundation think tank saying they found pensioners are set to lose out from the recent Budget.

This is due to the Conservative government’s decision to freeze income tax thresholds, which will lead to a £8 billion tax bombshell for pensioners across the country by 2027-28, or an average of £1,000 each.

Further analysis by the Liberal Democrats suggests this will impact on the estimated 18,742 pensioners in the Taunton and Wellington area who pay income tax.

Taunton and Wellington’s Liberal Democrats have said that this showed the Conservative Party has “abandoned” pensioners who are already struggling to pay the bills.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said the Lib Dem are “misleading people about their pensions”.

Gideon Amos, Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington, said: “Pensioners here, who have worked hard and paid taxes all their lives, are now being punished by the Conservative government with a £1,000 additional tax, on top of government social care cuts which are forcing up council taxes across the country.

“Many elderly people are already struggling to make ends meet as heating bills and the cost of the weekly shop go through the roof.

“Now this Conservative tax grab will only pile on the misery.

“Liberal Democrats are proud of our record of introducing the triple lock to protect people’s pensions - and of the original Liberal government’s invention of a state pension.

“We will stand up for the pensioners in our community who have now been cruelly abandoned by the Conservatives, including by calling on the Government to double the Winter Fuel Allowance.”

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said: “It is incredibly reckless of the Lib Dems to be scaremongering about a potential ‘stealth tax’ and misleading people about their pensions when they are going up by a further £900 this April and the triple lock has been protected.

“This builds on the extra £300 that every pensioner received over winter to help with paying for their gas or electric bill and the increase of £900 in the state pension last year too.

“All the while, the government has set the ambition to end the double tax on work and I am pleased that the Chancellor has listened to concerns that I raised.

“Rather than snipe from the sidelines, the Lib Dems should back our plan to increase support for pensioners and reduce inflation, which will give older people more money in their pockets.”