Rishi Sunak Hints at Curbing Benefit Rises and Raises Doubts on Pensions Triple Lock
Rishi Sunak, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, has sparked a fresh Cabinet rift by suggesting that benefit rises may be curbed next year and casting doubt on the future of the pensions triple lock.
Benefits to Rise by Same Rate as Wages, Rather Than Inflation
The Prime Minister has hinted that handouts will increase next year at the same rate as wages, rather than the higher rate of inflation as they did this year.
Calls for Government to Prioritize Supporting the Most Disadvantaged
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk has publicly warned that the Government must prioritize supporting the most disadvantaged. He emphasized the need to be "decent, humane, and support people."
Sunak Refuses to Commit to Raising Benefits in Line with Inflation
In an interview with Sky News, Rishi Sunak refused to commit to raising benefits in line with inflation when asked if he would be uncomfortable with not doing so.
Benefits Increased by 10% This Year
Speaking at the G20 summit in New Delhi, Sunak highlighted that benefits have already increased by 10% this year, resulting in an additional £600 for a typical Universal Credit recipient and £800 for pensioners.
Government Provides Support Through Other Means
Sunak also pointed out that the government offers support to those in need through various measures, such as assistance with energy bills.
Future of Pensions Triple Lock Uncertain
Responding to concerns about the rising costs of pensions, Sunak refused to confirm if the pledge to raise pensions by inflation would be included in the next Tory manifesto. The triple lock guarantees that the state pension increases each year in line with the higher of 2.5%, wage rises or inflation.
Rising Pension Costs Could Create Pressure to Increase Retirement Age
A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that maintaining the triple lock could contribute to a £45 billion increase in the welfare bill by 2050. This could potentially lead to the need to raise the retirement age earlier than planned.
Uncertainty Over Future Inclusion of Triple Lock in Party Manifesto
When asked about the triple lock being included in the Conservative Party's manifesto for the next election, Sunak declined to speculate, stating that he had other priorities in the meantime. However, he reiterated that the triple lock has been the government's policy for a long time.
State Pension Figures to be Revealed Tomorrow
Retirees will discover the amount of the state pension from April next year when the latest average earnings figures are released.
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