The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Num­ber 10 de­nies ‘triple lock’ in dan­ger

- BY HAR­RIET LINE Business · Finance · Financial Times · City of Westminster · United Kingdom · Government of the United Kingdom

Down­ing Street has played down re­ports the “triple lock” on pen­sions will be abol­ished as a re­sult of the coro­n­avirus fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The triple lock, which has been in force since 2010, acts as a safe­guard for state pen­sion­ers’ in­comes and helps to pro­tect their spend­ing power.

Each year, the state pen­sion in­creases in line with ei­ther in­fla­tion in the year to Septem­ber, a “floor” of 2.5%, or earn­ings, which­ever is higher.

The Fi­nan­cial Times re­ported that Chan­cel­lor Rishi Su­nak is pre­par­ing to break the pledge, amid Trea­sury fears the pol­icy could soon be­come un­af­ford­able.

But a Num­ber 10 source told a West­min­ster brief­ing: “Th­ese are unique and chal­leng­ing eco­nomic cir­cum­stances and we can­not hide from that.

“As you know, de­ci­sions on tax and pen­sion pol­icy are set out at Bud­get by the chan­cel­lor but there are no plans to abol­ish the triple lock and we will al­ways stand by pen­sion­ers.”

Asked if it could be sus­pended, the source said: “I’m not go­ing to spec­u­late on what in­fla­tion might be in fu­ture.”

Next year’s pen­sion pay­ments will not be caus­ing headaches at the Trea­sury be­cause of a hit to salaries from the Covid-19 cri­sis, but of­fi­cial fore­casts sug­gest wages could soar next year – leav­ing the UK Gov­ern­ment with a hefty bill in the fu­ture.

 ??  ?? Chan­cel­lor Rishi Su­nak
Chan­cel­lor Rishi Su­nak

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