Jeremy Hunt faces a stark warning against scrapping the triple pension lock guarantee in his budget next week, with a new poll showing a majority of people would be against such a move. A poll by Techne UK for the Daily Express asked: “Should the Chancellor keep the triple pension lock guarantee in his budget? A whopping 64% of people said yes, while 25% of people said no.
About 11% of respondents said they did not know.
The triple lockdown promises that state pensions will grow by at least the rate of inflation, income growth or 2.5% each year.
But the policy has been criticized, with a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) – published last month – warning that securing a decent annual increase will require an ever-growing share of our national income.
The IFS report said the triple lockdown is “not sustainable”, adding: “It is possible that the current working-age population will not end up benefiting in full from the same generosity.”
The Chancellor will unveil her budget on Wednesday, but there are fears of further cuts in public spending amid a tough economic climate.
The triple lockdown was suspended during the pandemic, but is reinstated from April 2023.
When politics returns, the state pension increase will be 10.1%, in line with the September 2022 CPI inflation figure.
It is the biggest increase ever to the state pension, raising the new maximum pension by almost £1,000 from £9,627.80 a year to £10,600.20.
The new state pension is paid to those who retired from 6 April 2016. Older pensioners continue to receive the basic state pension.
Despite the reinstatement of the triple lockdown, there are fears that the government may remove the triple lockdown due to the difficult economic climate.
Defending the triple lockdown at the time of the IFS report, Dennis Reed, of the charity Silver Voices, said: ‘Older people have paid their whole working lives and there is plenty of money in the national insurance fund for cover the cost. Young people will also benefit when they retire.”
Caroline Abrahams, from Age UK, said: “It would be wonderful if there was no longer a need for triple lockdown. On average the state pension is still only worth around £10,000 a year, one of the lowest in the developed world.”
Meanwhile, Life peer George Foulkes, who co-chairs the Aging and Older People’s Parliamentary Group, said: “There seems to be a new coordinated campaign to undermine the triple lockdown.
“He claims to support poor families but fuels an intergenerational battle. The poorest retirees would sink deeper into poverty if this ugly campaign succeeds.”