Pensions Secretary Admits Triple Lock is "Not Sustainable"
Ministers in the UK are clashing with the country's 12 million pensioners over proposed plans to downgrade the triple lock promise. Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has admitted that the flagship Conservative policy since 2011 is "not sustainable" in the long term.
Uncertainty Over Future of Triple Lock Promise
Rishi Sunak, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, has refused to confirm whether the triple lock will remain in the next Tory manifesto. The triple lock ensures that pensions rise by whichever is highest out of inflation, wage growth, or 2.5 per cent. But Sunak's warning suggests that pensioners may not receive the expected 8.5 per cent rise next year.
Plans to Exclude Bonuses from Pension Calculations
Mel Stride is considering excluding bonuses handed to public sector workers from the triple lock pension calculations. This move aims to end strikes by using a lesser figure of around 7.8 per cent, instead of the 8.5 per cent rise recently indicated by average earnings. The proposed change would amount to a hike of £826 per year instead of £901 for pensioners.
Political Views on the Triple Lock
Former Conservative leader William Hague has advocated for scrapping the expensive triple lock system, leading to concerns among MPs that the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is willing to abandon it. While some Tories fear the potential electoral backlash from pensioners, others argue that the triple lock unfairly burdens poorer workers for the benefit of wealthier retirees.
Democrats Fear Electoral Backlash
The Conservative Party relies on the support of older voters, making them a crucial demographic for any chance of re-election. Many within the party believe that touching the triple lock would be political madness due to the potential negative consequences at the ballot box.
TaxPayers' Alliance Criticizes Triple Lock
John O'Connell, the boss of the TaxPayers' Alliance, argues that the triple lock places unsustainable pressure on public finances. He believes that it limits the potential for tax cuts that could benefit everyone.
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