Scrapping triple lock is ‘stealing billions from pensioners pockets’ – last-ditch attempt

Pension: Expert discusses state pension tax

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Later today, Lord Prem Sikka is set to table an amendment to the Social Security (Uprating of Benefits) Bill in a last effort to prevent the one year suspension of the triple lock. Lord Sikka’s reasoning behind the motion is the surplus of £37billion currently in the National Insurance Fund, which he believes negates the Government’s grounds for temporarily scrapping the triple lock. The Labour Lord has teamed up with Silver Voices, an organisation representing older Britons to address this issue.

According to Silver Voices, living costs are set to rise dramatically over the next year, including energy bills and food costs, which would hit pensioners the hardest.

Due to this, the organisation is calling for a “rethink” of the triple lock suspension until living costs are found to have fallen.

On the Government’s state pension decision, Lord Prem said: “I am opposing the suspension of the triple lock because it condemns current and future retirees to a life of misery.

“The average state pension of £8,000 is around 25 percent of average national wage, the lowest in the industrialised world.

“The proportion of retirees living in severe poverty is five times what it was in 1986. Around 2.1 million pensioners live in poverty.

“Some 1.3 million retirees are undernourished and 25,000 die each year due to cold weather.

“The maintenance of the triple-lock enables retirees to meet the rising cost of food and energy.

“The government’s election pledge can easily be met through the £37billion surplus in the National Insurance Fund account”.

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Agreeing with this train of thought Dennis Reed, the Director of Silver Voices, outlined why he believes the triple lock should remain in place during this turbulent economic climate.

Mr Reed said: “If the triple lock was used for next April’s increases, the state pension would be up to £10 per week higher than that based on the September rate of inflation.

“This would just about protect pensioners from the anticipated rises in the cost of living.

“In effect £5billion is being stolen from pensioners’ pockets by the Government in not honouring its manifesto promise.

“Because the decision to suspend the triple lock has no democratic legitimacy, we hope that the Lords will step up and force the Government into a rethink.”

Introduced in 2010, the triple lock is the term given to the Government’s promise to raise the state pension by either the rate of inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 percent.

Due to the pandemic and furlough artificially inflating earnings across the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have opted for a “second lock” policy and have scrapped the triple lock for at least one year.

As a result of this, the state pension will either go up by the rate of inflation or 2.5 percent.

Despite the public outcry over the triple lock scrap, state pensions are set to go up by 3.1 percent next year in line with inflation.

It means the full new state pension will be around £185.17 per week for the 2021/22 tax year.

This is up by £5.57 from the previous year when it was £179.60, which means claimants will get an extra £289.64 per year, with their income jumping from £9,339.20 for a full 12 months up to £9,628.84.

Mr Sunak is set to provide further clarity on the state pension and future of the triple lock in his Autumn Budget 2021.

The Budget announcement is set to take place later this week on October 27, 2021.

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