Pensioners will receive at least an extra £772 per year by 2021 under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans to protect the Triple Lock. The party are making the commitment to older people unlike the Conservatives who have repeatedly refused to give the guarantee.
This guarantee means the state pension is expected to be worth at least £137.15-a-week by 2021, up from £122.30 in 2017.
Thanks to the Liberal Democrats’ triple lock guarantee, the basic state pension has risen in each year by whichever is the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%. The triple lock was a key demand from the Liberal Democrats in Coalition negotiations.
Labour increased the State Pension by just 75p in 2000. Help the Aged described the 75p increase as “just unacceptable”. Labour had 13 years to restore the earnings link to pensions which Margaret Thatcher severed in 1980. The Liberal Democrats restored the link to earnings within six weeks of getting into government.
The Conservatives have hinted strongly that they will drop the Triple Lock. Theresa May has said she will not be drawn on whether it will be included in the manifesto, and Conservative senior figures have spoken out against it.
Commenting on the commitment, Parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Joe Richards, said:
“The Tories are refusing to guarantee a decent state pension because they know a £100bn black hole is going to open up due to their hard Brexit plans. Meanwhile Labour have no economic credibility shown by Diane Abbott’s embarrassing interviews where she fails to explain very basic spending plans because they are trying to work out how to spend the same pot of money ten times over.
“We are able to make the triple lock guarantee to pensioners because we have very clear spending and tax plans that will allow us to properly fund things like the NHS and social care where we would invest an extra £6bn a year, with £30m directly for Hackney.”
Commenting on the plan, Sir Vince Cable said:
“Liberal Democrats believe that an important test of a civilised society is the way in which it cares for the elderly. We will protect the Triple Lock unlike the Conservatives.
“The guiding principle of the pensions system must be to ensure that none are left unable to meet their basic needs for survival and participation in society, and that everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.
“A Lib Dem Pensions Minister introduced the triple lock guarantee to protect the state pension during Coalition. We delivered on our manifesto commitment to increase the Basic State Pension by whatever is highest out of CPI inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.”