19,210 pensioners living in Broxbourne will receive at least an extra £772 per year under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans to protect the ‘triple lock’ for state pensions.
Thanks to the triple lock guarantee, secured by the Liberal Democrats when they were in government, the basic state pension has risen in each year by whichever is the higher of earnings, prices or a rate of 2.5%. However, the Conservatives have refused to guarantee whether the triple lock will continue, raising fears it could be scrapped.
The Liberal Democrats have committed today to keeping the triple lock, meaning the state pension would be worth at least £137.15 a week by 2021, up from £122.30 in 2017, or an extra £772 a year.
This would be paid for in part by restricting perks such as the winter fuel allowance so they are no longer paid to the wealthiest pensioners.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Nigel Quinton said:
“Protecting the triple lock will mean an extra £772 a year by 2021 for the 17,170 people receiving the state pension in this constituency. ”
“The Liberal Democrats are making a clear commitment to older people in Welwyn Hatfield, unlike the Conservatives who have repeatedly refused to give this guarantee. ”
“The triple lock has succeeded in lifting thousands of pensioners out of poverty, but many are still struggling to get by. ”
“An important test of a civilised society is the way in which it cares for the elderly. This commitment will ensure older people are able to meet their basic needs and that their living standards will be protected, especially with prices set to rise in the coming years.”
Notes to Editors
Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that in August 2016, there were 19,210 people living in Broxbourne in receipt of the state pension (link)
The Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a commitment to keep the ‘triple lock’ protection for state pensions. All of those receiving the full state pension would enjoy a rise from £122.30 to at least £137.15 a week by 2021, the equivalent of an extra £772 a year.
The Liberal Democrats would also limit some non-pension benefits for the wealthiest pensioners. The Winter Fuel Payment would be withdrawn from those pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate (40%). The Liberal Democrats would retain the free bus pass for all pensioners.
The Conservatives have hinted strongly that they will drop the Triple Lock. Theresa May has refused top guarantee the triple lock when asked, and Conservative senior figures have spoken out against it (link) 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.