Triple lock

The Tories have become the party of the pensioner

In several countries across Europe, ‘pensioners parties’ sit in parliament expressly to reflect the interests of older voters. The most successful is perhaps Slovenia, where the Democratic Party of Pensioners had a parliamentary presence from 1992 to 2022, and often made up part of the governing coalition. In the UK, attempts to create pensioners parties have faltered. Now, in a desperate grasp for survival, the Conservatives are attempting to become one.  Rishi Sunak has kicked off the first full week of the campaign with a policy to further entrench the Tory support of better-off older people. Where once the triple lock was enough, now he has unveiled the ‘Triple Lock

Time to ditch the pension triple-lock for good

Perhaps it’s finally dawned on the government that they have an intergenerational inequality problem on their hands. The decision to suspend the pension triple-lock for one year to avoid an 8 per cent increase to the state pension would suggest so. Asset wealth is already excessively concentrated in the over-55s. To even this spendthrift government, a massive bump in pensions while the rest of the economy languishes is a step too far. But that’s exactly what happens every year anyway under the triple-lock. The policy means that even when the rest of the economy stagnates, pensioners receive a boost. It is a feature of the system, not a bug, which came into place

Rishi Sunak should blame Brexit for ditching the pensions triple lock

Car workers in Sunderland are doing just fine. Construction workers still have jobs. And the food is still getting to the supermarkets, even if there are some occasional disruptions to supply.  Not many of the dire warnings about the consequences of leaving the European Union have actually come to pass. There is, however, one group that looks likely to be hit, even if no one quite predicted it. The pensioners. It looks certain to cost them the ‘triple lock’ on their pensions: although since many of them voted for Brexit, they can hardly complain. The government is tying itself up in knots on how to wriggle out of the ‘triple lock’

It’s time to scrap the triple lock

For a government to break a manifesto commitment is a serious matter which, quite rightly, is sure to rebound at the ballot box. But there is one commitment in the Conservatives’ 2019 manifesto which has simply got to go: the promise to maintain the ‘triple lock’ on pensions which sees the basic state pension increased each year by either inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is the highest.  At the time the party made this promise it could not have foreseen the peculiar circumstances which would result in today’s remarkable ONS figures showing that average earnings are up over the past 12 months by 8.8 per cent. Unless

Boris must face the truth about the ‘triple lock’ pensions promise

The Tories have a pension problem – and it’s not strictly financial. Over the coming weeks, the cost of pension promises is likely to be in the spotlight. The pensions ‘triple lock’, which the Prime Minister reportedly refuses to scrap, means that the state pension is upgraded each year in line with average earnings, the Consumer Price Index or by 2.5 per cent – whichever is higher. This year, it’s likely that earnings will be the highest of these figures by a long way. Here we encounter a problem: the triple lock was not designed with a pandemic in mind. The crazy world of ‘Coronomics‘ has led to the biggest