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State Pension Triple Lock Scrapped

MPs have voted to scrap the state pension triple lock after rejecting a House of Lords amendment that would have kept it in place.

The amendment to the Social Security (Up-Rating of Benefits) Bill in the Lords sought to overturn the decision to suspend the mechanism and forced the matter to return to the Commons.

MPs voted in favour of turning their backs on their manifesto commitment, and the Government won the vote by 300 votes to 229.

Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, said

 "We believe it would be reckless in procedure and in law for this or any other government to set a precedent for uprating benefits or pensions using a methodology that is not robust and for which there is no consensus.

That is why the government have decided to suspend the earnings link in this year of exceptional and anomalous earnings growth.

I remind the house that over the two years of the pandemic the government will have ensured that the pensions covered by this bill will have increased by much more than prices, by reason of the 2.5 per cent increase last year and the link to CPI this year."

Mr. Opperman went on to explain that the suspension would only last for one year...

"The triple lock will, I confirm, be applied in the usual way for the rest of the Parliament," he said"

The Lords have accepted the defeat. The triple lock remains suspended and the legislation has now been passed. The pension rise from April 2022 will be 3.1% in line with September's inflation figure.

Former Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann, who tabled the amendment in the Lords that forced today's vote, said:

"Do they really think it is right that Britain, with the lowest state pension in the world, can afford to cut taxes on banks and alcohol but can’t keep its promises to protect pensioners?"

The decision will save the Treasury around £5billion a year, but may leave many pensioners worse off next year as their weekly payments rise by less than inflation.

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