Shadow Pensions Minister, Alex Cunningham MP, yesterday demanded the Government come clean on the future of the triple lock for the state pension.
Alex took the opportunity to press the government on the future of the triple lock for state pensions guaranteed only until the end of this Parliament, but his question was ignored by the Pensions Minister during a Commons debate over the uprating of overseas state pensions.
The Government had previously committed themselves to maintaining the triple lock for the rest of Parliament, which was expected to end in 2020, but the snap General Election means that this has been reduced by three years and will instead end next month. Despite their careful references to ‘the end of this Parliament’ in Parliamentary debates, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions expressed Government commitment to the triple lock until 2020 during an interview with Peston on Sunday back in November 2016.
Challenging the government, Alex said:
“Labour is committed to the triple lock for the next Parliament. The Secretary of State has said its only guaranteed to the end of this Parliament – but in the media in November said it would be 2020. Pensioners need to know – does it end this year, in 2020 or is there a longer term commitment?”
Labour have committed to keeping the triple lock until 2025, as well as a number of policies encompassed into a pledge card announced by the party last week, including a pledge to keep the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes; to compensate the 1950s born WASPI women affected by the increase in the pension age, and to protect the pensions of UK citizens living abroad.