Ishi Sunak said he is committed to the triple lock on state pensions, although he has backed away from calls that would guarantee they will be included in the Conservatives’ next election manifesto.
The triple lock guarantees an increase in the state pension in line with average earnings, inflation or 2.5%, whichever is higher.
Ministers are currently considering whether to eliminate the impact of public sector bonuses on earnings, which could mean a rise of around 7.8% instead of 8.5% compared to April, potentially saving the government hundreds of millions.
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn mocked Mr Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions when he told the House of Commons: “As someone who spends more money on heating his swimming pool than the total value of the UK’s state pension, I can safely say that the Prime Minister might not be as invested in this issue as some others.
“But let’s give him the opportunity to clear up any ambiguities.
“Will he commit his party, the Conservative Party, to maintaining the triple lock on the state pension beyond the next general election – yes or no?”
The Prime Minister replied: “This is the party that introduced the triple lockdown.”
“This is the party that has pushed through a £3,000 increase in the state pension since 2010.
“It is also the party that has ensured that there are 200,000 fewer pensioners living in poverty today and that this winter pensioners will receive an extra £300 on top of their winter petrol payment to support them through the difficult times of inflation.”
“So our track record is clear: there is one party in this House that has always stood up for our pensioners and that is the Conservative Party.”
Mr Flynn replied: “I don’t think we heard a yes there.
“You can imagine my shock and utter surprise that, despite the promises made to the Scottish people in 2014, and despite the clear statements.” Statements from people like Gordon Brown that the only way to protect your pension is to stay in the UK.
“How hollow those words are now.”
He further asked Mr Sunak: “Who does he think will abolish the triple lock on the state pension first – his government or the Labor government?”
The Prime Minister defended the government’s support for pensioners, adding: “This is the government that introduced the triple lock and continues to champion it.”
“But he raises a good point: pensioners in Scotland should know that the reason they can rely on the state pension not just today but in the years to come is because of the strength of our union and the strength of ours British government lies.”
An 8.5% increase in the full new state pension could raise it from around £204 a week to £221, or from around £10,600 to around £11,502 a year.
But a smaller increase of 7.8% would instead go from around £204 a week to around £220, or around £11,427 a year.
An 8.5% increase in the basic state pension would increase it from around £156 a week to just under £170, or from around £8,122 to £8,814 a year.
However, a 7.8% increase would mean an increase in the basic state pension to around £168 a week, or around £8,756 a year.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/rishi-sunak-guarantee-pension-triple-lock-tory-manifesto-b1106772.html Rishi Sunak backs away from the call to guarantee a triple pension lock in the Tory manifesto