MPs have been asked not to make the elderly choose between heating and eating by suspending the pensions triple lock in a Commons vote.
The mechanism ensures the state pension increases by inflation earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest, but the Chancellor wants to delay the earnings link for a year because last year’s increase of eight per cent was artificially boosted because of the impact of the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the House of Lords voted to keep the triple lock, but now the House of Commons will vote on the same measure, and Conservative MPs are on a three-line whip to reverse the Lords vote and limit next year’s pension increase to inflation or 2.5 per cent.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said that they can’t have a situation in which unforeseen cost pressures result in the poorest having to choose between heating and eating.
Former Tory pensions minister Baroness Altmann, who put forward the Lords amendment, ask if they thought it was right that Britain, with the lowest state pension in the world, could afford to cut taxes on banks and alcohol but can’t keep its promises to protect pensioners?
The Lords amendment would see pensions increase by around 5 per cent, to take into account the effects of the pandemic.
Baroness Altmann added that the Government was imposing a three-line whip, and she said that if only enough Tories were prepared to do the right thing and agree it’s right to cut pensions for millions of the most disadvantaged people in our country, with no other money, in the eye of a cost of living storm, could this pass?
Charities say that limiting the rise of the pension would hit older people because inflation had risen in recent months, causing a cost of living crisis.
With all the news we’ve had lately about MPs and their financial dealings, with their ratings at an all-time low, it would be great if they did the right thing for once, but of course, they won’t.
And politicians always ignore what British people want because they’re more involved in looking after boat people than their own citizens, and just because they don’t like the figures doesn’t give them the right to pick and choose when to honour the triple lock. What about next year and the year after that, if salaries and inflation continue to climb, what will they do then?
It seems that we can afford to house, clothe and feed thousands of new arrivals but we can’t afford a decent rise for our older people, and it’s clear that even an 8 per cent increase in the UK’s OAPs pension which is the worst in Europe, will not cover the rise in energy prices and inflation, let alone all the other price hikes, and if Boris Johnson and Priti Patel choose to rob OAPs of their promised pension increase again, more pensioners will die this winter.
And the Tories are going to lose a lot of votes if they abandon the pensioners and eliminate the triple lock, so let’s hope that there are some honourable men and women on the Tory benches who are prepared to stand up and do the right thing.
People who are living on the basic OAP should be paying no tax at all, but they do – a 20 per cent surcharge on almost everything that they purchase, it’s called VAT. And for those that can afford a little car pay nearly three pounds tax on each gallon of petrol and it seems that we’ve gradually moved from taxing the wealthy to taxing the poor, so where’s this Conservative fairness?