Govt not discussing triple lock despite calls for it to be scrapped

The government has not had any “recent discussions” on the future of the state pension triple lock, according to Pensions Minister Guy Opperman, despite recent calls for it to be scrapped.

In response to a written question which asked what talks Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, had had with other members of the cabinet, Opperman stated that there have been no recent discussions on the future of the triple lock.

Furthermore, Opperman stated that Coffey had not made an assessment of the impact on pensioners that removing the triple lock would have.

“The government is committed to ensuring that older people are able to live with the dignity and respect they deserve, and the state pension is the foundation of state support for older people,” he stated.

There have recently been calls for the government to consider scrapping the triple lock to help pay for the costs incurred in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Currently, the triple lock guarantees that the state pension will rise by at least 2.5 per cent each year if that is higher than earnings growth or price inflation.

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) has previously urged the government to scrap the state pension triple lock to help spread the cost of Covid-19 between generations.

It recommended replacing the current system with a ‘double lock’, which would see the guarantee that the basic state pension rises by at least 2.5 per cent being scrapped.

Furthermore, in mid-May the Telegraph reported that it had seen a Treasury document that advised Sunak to scrap the annual state pension rise guarantee to recoup some of the money the government had spent on supporting workers and the economy.

However, last week (20 May), Aegon urged the government “not to rush into any decisions on state pension increases” and to instead consider a package of borrowing, benefit and taxation measures.

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