Triple lock pension suspended in second Tory manifesto break in one day

By Jayke Brophy

The pensions triple lock will be suspended for one year in an announcement that signals the second Tory manifesto pledge broken in one day.

The move, which will see the state pension rise by either 2.5% or the rate of inflation, will see Britain’s elderly miss out on a multi-billion pound pay rise.

The triple lock manifesto pledge, brought in by the Tories in 2011, meant that the state pension must rise by the highest out of average earnings, inflation, or 2.5% every year.

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Average earnings have grown by an estimated 8%, meaning that the manifesto-breaking move will see the Government save itself £3billion.

The government argues that the increase would be unfair given that so many people are still struggling from job losses, salary cuts and pay freezes due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey announced the move in Parliament today.

The secretary said: “As we have sought to protect lives, so we sought to protect livelihoods and to mitigate the worst impacts we introduced a £407bn package of support including the furlough and self-employment schemes to support incomes.

“Nevertheless, last year we saw earnings fall by one percentage point. In response, we legislated to set aside the earnings link allowing me to award an uprating of 2.5% as this was higher than inflation. If we had not done this state pension would have been frozen.”

She added the decision had been made to stop Britain’s 12 million pensioners "unfairly benefiting from a statistical anomaly.”

The triple lock guarantee was brought in to ensure pensioners did not see any rise in their state pension being overtaken by the rising cost of living, nor that they would be overtaken by the working population.

In April this year, the full, new flat-rate state pension (for those who reached state pension age after April 2016) rose to £179.60 a week.

The full, old basic state pension (for those who reached state pension age before April 2016) rose to £137.60 a week.

These figures will now rise by 2.5% in April 2022, rather than the 8% that they would be guaranteed had Tories kept to their manifesto pledge.

This is the second manifesto breaking move from the Tories in the same day, after a 1.25% rise in National Insurance was announced by the PM in Parliament.

The move is currently being described as a temporary measure, majorly due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the regular triple lock guarantee being reintroduced in 2023.

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