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Suspension of Triple Lock to impact 1mln Scots pensioners

written by Bella Palmer
uk-government

The Tories confirmed last year the measure would be shelved temporarily and pensions will instead rise by 2.5 per cent

Almost one million pensioners in Scotland will lose out financially as a result of the UK Government's decision to suspend the Triple Lock, official figures show.

The Tories confirmed last year the measure would be shelved temporarily and pensions will instead rise by 2.5 per cent.

It followed concerns by ministers that a big post-pandemic rise in average earnings would have meant pensions increasing by eight per cent.

Under the Triple Lock, pensions increase by inflation, the increase in earnings between May and July, or 2.5 per cent - whichever is the greater.

But the UK Government insisted the figures in 2021 had been ‘skewed and distorted’ by the average earnings rise.

Now research from the independent House of Commons Library has found 985,065 pensioners in Scotland have been directly impacted by the cut – which will see them lose £520 in 2022, and a cumulative £2,600 over the next five years.

The UK Government’s Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics also show that pension poverty had risen to a 15 year high under Tory rule – with 2.1 million UK pensioners (18 per cent) now living in poverty after housing costs.

David Linden, the SNP's work and pensions spokesman, said: For as long as Scotland gets Tory governments we don’t vote for, Scotland’s pensioners will continue to see their incomes slashed.

Under Westminster control, UK pensioners already have the least generous pensions in north west Europe – and things are only getting worse, he said.

He said: In addition, the current UK Government is consulting on bringing forward their planned increase to state pension age to 68 by seven years impacting on anyone born before 1976.

A spokesman for the UK Government said the Triple Lock suspension was a one-year response to exceptional circumstances.

He added: The one-year response to temporarily suspend the Triple Lock ensures fairness for both pensioners and taxpayers.

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