NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
Pensioners could lose the ‘triple lock’ guarantee on their standard of living, Downing Street confirmed yesterday, after chancellor Jeremy Hunt ripped up the prime minister’s economic plans.
The rule, introduced in 2010, ensures that state pensions rise each year by at least 2.5 per cent but match inflation or average wages if either is higher.
It was confirmed as a Conservative manifesto pledge in 2019 and Liz Truss was recently ‘fully committed’ to it.
But the PM’s spokesman warned yesterday she could ‘not make any commitments on individual policy areas’.
The spokesman said Ms Truss was ‘very aware’ of how many vulnerable pensioners there are and said the party’s aim was to ‘continue to protect the most vulnerable in society.
But Age Concern warned that abandoning the promise would be a betrayal of the UK’s 12 million state pensioners.
‘Anything less than the triple lock would mean a real-terms cut in the state pension, which is only worth on average about £9,000 anyway, yet comprises the bulk of the income for most older people in our country,’ said director Caroline Abrahams.
Conservative MP Maria Caulfield vowed she would not vote to end it.
And Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said older people should not have to pay for the PM’s ‘disastrous mistakes’.
Economists warn the chancellor will have to find £30billion more to balance the budget before his October 31 financial strategy. Mr Hunt, who has told ministers to find ‘eye-watering’ savings, has saved £32billion by reversing most of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.
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