From SNP Media:
The SNP has challenged Boris Johnson to make a cast-iron commitment to maintain the triple lock on pensions – amid reports the Treasury is planning to impose a cap.
Responding to reports the Chancellor is considering breaking the link between pensions and earnings, David Linden MP said the Prime Minister must “overrule” Rishi Sunak and make clear the Tory government will not break yet another manifesto commitment by ring-fencing the £4billion needed to fund the annual rise in pensions next year.
The SNP Shadow Work and Pensions spokesperson said the Tories must not betray their election pledges to pensioners and must do more to reverse pensioner poverty after a decade of Tory austerity and pension credit cuts.
The UK has one of the lowest state pensions in the developed world – both in absolute terms and also by comparison to average earnings. The UK also spends less on pensions, as a proportion of GDP, than the majority of OECD countries.
The UK government’s own Households below average income (HBAI) statistics show that pensioner poverty levels are on the rise, with 2.1million pensioners (18%) living in poverty after housing costs – an increase of 200,000 on 2018/19, and a 15 year high.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Work and Pensions spokesperson David Linden MP said:
“Boris Johnson must rule out this Tory threat to pensions – by giving a cast-iron commitment that the UK government will maintain the triple-lock and increase pensions in line with earnings.
“After a decade of Tory austerity cuts, millions of pensioners are living in poverty. It is essential that the Prime Minister overrules the Chancellor, and ring-fences the money needed to increase the state pension, to avoid breaking yet another Tory manifesto commitment.
“The UK has one of the lowest state pensions in the developed world and Tory policies, such as cutting pension credit, ending the free TV licence and betraying WASPI women, have damaged older people’s interests and seen pensioner poverty rise to the highest level in years.
“Scotland will always be vulnerable under Westminster control. It’s clear the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory attacks on pensions is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to protect pensioners and build a strong, fair and equal recovery.”
‘Age UK responds to new Government HBAI pensioner poverty figures’ – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/latest-press/articles/2021/age-uk-responds-to-new-government-pensioner-poverty-figures/#_ftn1
‘Households below average income (HBAI) statistics’ –https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/households-below-average-income-hbai–2
‘OECD: UK has lowest state pension of any developed country’ – https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/05/oecd-uk-has-lowest-state-pension-of-any-developed-country
House of Commons Library: ‘Pensions: international comparisons’ – https://mcusercontent.com/4fae14f57a18ee08253ffc251/files/bd544b81-e594-d77b-43c1-680a263fa5cf/Pensions.pdf