Triple lock pension promise saves Tory party as pensioners ‘supported’
Pensions: Currie analyses Sunak's decision to protect triple lock
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Retirees are heading for a 10.1 percent increase to the state pension from next April, after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the triple lock is being protected. Delivering the autumn statement, Mr Hunt said the Government will fulfil its pledge to protect the triple lock, meaning that the state pension will increase in line with inflation. Former Conservative MP Edwina Currie said there is “recognition” from pensioners towards the Tory party.
Speaking to GB News, Ms Currie said: “Most pensioners vote, their voting rate is much higher than amongst young people who do a lot of moaning and pay more tax.
“Pensioners have lived through a lot, they understand how important things like the health service are so if they have to pay tax, they do it willingly.
“They understand how important the care system is and they will recognise the Government has tried to put a lot more money into that and they understand how dependent they are on the rest of society.
“I won’t say they’re grateful, but I think there’s recognition there that it’s a good thing when a nation with as many old people are we have supports them.
“If we don’t have the support for pensioners, we’ll have reports of poverty stricken pensioners and that would be awful.”
For those on the full, old basic state pension, who reached state pension age before April 2016, the increase means a weekly rise from £141.85 to £156.20.
Autumn statement documents said: “The state pension will be uprated by inflation, in line with the commitment to the triple lock.
“The standard minimum income guarantee in pension credit will also increase in line with inflation from April 2023 (rather than in line with average earnings growth).
Autumn Statement: Hunt on pension triple lock
“This will ensure pensioners on the lowest incomes are protected from inflation and do not lose some of their state pension increase in the pension credit means test.”
The triple lock is normally used to calculate the increase in the state pension, but it was temporarily suspended due to the distorting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and state pensions rose by 3.1 percent.
The mechanism – a manifesto promise – guarantees that state pensions increase by September’s inflation figure, wages or 2.5 percent, whichever is higher.
Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose by 10.1 percent in September.
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During the final days of her premiership, prime minister Liz Truss had said the triple lock would be protected, but uncertainty surrounded its future as it was not known whether new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would stick to the commitment.
Ministers had been reportedly considering ditching the manifesto promise due to the squeeze on the public finances in the wake of the mini-budget fiasco.
Helen Morrissey, a senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “After weeks of speculation about whether the triple lock would return next year many pensioners will be viewing today’s news with a sigh of relief.”
She added: “However, it’s also worth saying that this increase will only come into effect from April so there is a tough winter ahead and the Chancellor has been forthright in saying that times will be difficult for everyone.
“The reinstatement of the triple lock after its suspension last year will cool some of the discussion around its long-term viability for a while, but with a review of state pension age due to be published soon, now is the time to carry out a comprehensive review of the state pension to ensure it best helps those who need it most, both now and into the future.”
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