Hunt considering changes to pension triple lockwritten by Bella Palmer
Under the triple lock, payments are meant to rise with whichever is highest from average earnings, inflation or 2.5%
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering making changes to the Tories “triple lock” state pension promise in an effort to save up to £2 billion annually.
This comes as the latest official figures show UK pensioners are in line for a bumper rise in payments, as wages outpaced inflation and increased by 8.5%.
Under the triple lock – a Tory manifesto promise – payments are meant to increase with whichever is highest from average earnings, inflation or 2.5%.
But Rishi Sunak’s government is believed to be evaluating whether the rise in pension payments could be reduced by changing the Treasury formula.
The latest wage rise was lifted by a jump in bonus payments for public sector workers. Stripping out the bonuses would mean a state pension rise of just 7.8%, instead of 8.5%.
A government source told The Times it was not “sensible” to factor in public sector bonuses. It is very clear that they are distorting the figures and are not a precise depiction of real-terms pay rise. This will need to be looked at carefully.
The triple lock is being evaluated by work and pensions secretary Mel Stride an anticipated announcement on the form of rise at next month’s autumn statement.
The Liberal Democrats work and pensions spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain cautioned Hunt and Sunak not to “row back” on their promise – saying anything less than the maximum increase would be a “disgrace”.
To row back on the triple lock would be another in a long list of callous Conservative party broken promises, she told The Independent. The triple lock must be carried on and pensioners must be given the money that they deserve after their years of service.
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