Politics

Tory MPs say they will refuse to vote to end triple lock

Jeremy Hunt is asked if state pension will rise in April

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Tory MPs have warned they will not vote to end the state pension triple lock. Embattled Liz Truss could ditch the policy – which sees state pensions rise in line with whichever is highest of 2.5 percent, wages and inflation – as new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt looks to shore up the public finances after being parachuted into Number 11 following weeks of economic turmoil in the wake of the mini-budget.

But Conservative MP Maria Caulfield said she would not back abandoning the triple lock, which was a commitment in the 2019 manifesto.

The former health minister tweeted: “I will not be voting to end the pensions triple lock.

“Pensioners should not be paying the price for the cost of living crisis whether caused by the war in Ukraine or mini budgets.”

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ms Caulfield added: “I stood on a manifesto to respect the pension triple lock and those on a state pension are facing record costs with little or no option to increase their incomes from elsewhere.

“The Government hasn’t ruled out increasing pensions by the triple lock but they need to explicitly reassure pensioners that it will be in place this year.”

Tory MP Steve Double retweeted Ms Caulfield’s post and added: “Nor me.”

It comes after Downing Street indicated earlier on Tuesday that the triple lock was under threat. 

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are very aware of how many vulnerable pensioners there are and indeed our priority ahead of this fiscal plan is we continue to protect the most vulnerable in society.

“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are not making any commitments on individual policy areas at this point, but as I say the decisions will be made through the prism of what matters most to the most vulnerable.”

The spokesman added that moving to review the pledge was a “mutual decision” by Ms Truss and Mr Hunt, who refused to rule out the triple lock being suspended in the Commons on Monday. 

Cabinet Office minister Brendan Clarke-Smith played down speculation on Tuesday evening, telling Times Radio: “We want to look after our pensioners. The triple lock was a manifesto commitment before.”

Earlier this month, Ms Truss said state pensions would be uprated in line with the policy next April. She told the BBC: “I’ve committed to the triple lock. Yes.”

But there are now question marks over the pledge after replacing Kwasi Kwarteng in the Treasury.

Around 12.5 million people who receive the state pension could face a real-terms cut in earnings if their payments do not rise in line with soaring inflation, which is currently at around 10 percent.

The triple lock was suspended last year meaning pensioners received a 3.1 percent increase.

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