As millions of older people are expected to be forced into poverty next fiscal year, plans to suspend the triple lock pensions could be stopped in the Lords tomorrow.
Ros Altmann, a former pensions minister, will lead a cross party push to amend legislation to suspend the triple lock. This is intended to protect retirees’ incomes.
The move could see MPs asked to vote again on whether to authorise a £5billion raid on pensioner incomes next year.
The triple lock means that the state’s pension should rise each and every year in line with average earnings, inflation, or 2.5 per cent, depending on which one is higher.
Boris Johnson promised to keep this promise in his election-winning manifesto for 2019.
Ministers claim that the cost of next year’s housing is impossible to afford due to a sudden rise in average earnings as a result of the pandemic.
Ros Altmann, an ex-pensions minister, will lead cross-party efforts to amend legislation intended to suspend the triple locking. This lock is meant to protect retirees’ incomes.
Treasury figures revealed in last week’s Budget show the move will save the Government £5.4billion next year, rising to £6.7billion by 2025. Baroness Altmann, who served as pensions minister under David Cameron and Theresa May, accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) of ‘picking pensioners’ pockets’.
Lady Altmann pointed out that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which now estimates that average earnings growth will be 5% this year, is significantly lower than what the Government has predicted.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told MPs in September that the ‘statistical spike’ in earnings would result in the state pension rising by 8.3 per cent.
Ministers are now legislating for a ‘temporary’ move to a ‘double lock’ which will see pensions increase instead by the 3.1 per cent inflation rise recorded in September.
Treasury figures revealed in last week’s Budget show the move will save the Government £5.4billion next year, rising to £6.7billion by 2025.
Baroness Altmann, who served as pensions minister under David Cameron and Theresa May, accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of ‘picking pensioners’ pockets’.
She stated that millions of pensioners will see their incomes reduced due to the OBR’s prediction of inflation at 5% next year.
She told the Daily Mail: ‘MPs voted this through on a false prospectus and we need to give them the opportunity to think again.
‘Most pensioners are not well off and will struggle to cope with the price rises the Government knows are coming down the track.
“We know that heating costs and food costs will rise, but we are going the see a decrease in the state pension which is already very low.
‘We already have two million pensioners in poverty and we know that pensioner poverty is on the rise again.’
The Lords do not have the power to directly interfere in spending measures.
The new amendment would restore the link between earnings and pensions, but it would allow the Chancellor more flexibility to adjust the pension increase to account for the pandemic.