By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 19 October 2022 • 14:25
Government to break triple lock commitment after mini-budget fiasco
Although the new chancellor said he would not make any commitments until October 31 when he would present a medium-term fiscal plan, Truss said in response to a question from SNP MP Ian Blackford: “We have been clear in our manifesto that we will maintain a triple lock and I am completely committed to it, and so is the chancellor.”
A spokesperson for Truss told Sky News afterwards that the PM and the chancellor had agreed the position prior to question time.
Immediately after PMQs Tory MPs started tweeting a graphic confirming the commitment, which was to restore the triple lock from April 2023.
That will see pensioners receive a 10. per cent increase based on the inflation rate announced today.
Reporting on the budget on Tuesday, October 18, Sky news indicated that a spokesperson for the prime minister said that that minister could ditch their commitment to it. They went on to say that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was searching for ways to plug a multi-billion pound black hole in the public finances and a rise in pensions will make that situation worse.
The triple lock introduced by George Osborne and David Cameron would see pensioners receive an increase of around 10 per cent next year, with the triple lock guaranteeing an increase of whichever is higher – the inflation rate, average wage increases or 2.5 per cent.
The chancellor did not rule out suspension of the triple lock on Monday as he refused to make any commitments on “individual policy areas”. According to Pantheon Economics, the chancellor needs to find between £35 and £39 billion in savings.
In what promises to be another suicidal decision by the Tory government under Liz Truss, officials say that she and the chancellor are in agreement that this is the right thing to do.
A spokesperson for Truss said: “Their agreed position is to prioritise economic stability and to not make any commitments on individual policy areas at this point and wait until October 31 to come forward.”
Should the triple lock not be honoured it will deal some 12.5 million pensioners a cruel blow, with many already struggling and living off pensions well below the bread line.
The latest YouGov survey shows that Labour will win the next election with nearly two-thirds saying the government will lose, whilst only 18 per cent believe that a Tory victory was possible.
Perhaps most telling is that nearly a quarter of those polled are not sure who would win.
The poll also interviewed conservative party members finding that more than 40 per cent who voted for Truss now wanted her to go, while 83 per cent thought she was doing a bad job.
Perhaps most worrying for the Truss and the party is that more than 75 per cent of voters disapprove of the current government, the highest number in more than a decade.
That number could skyrocket should the government break its triple-lock commitment, which will no doubt push many more people into poverty. That would be an unforgivable move after its own goal that has heaped more misery on the British economy.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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