LABOUR would include the state pension in a welfare cap, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie has said.
Speaking on the BBC’s Daily Politics show yesterday, Leslie said that pensions should be considered part of the cap in the long term as people continue to live longer. His comments come just days after chancellor George Osborne announced the welfare cap in his Autumn Statement, telling MPs that he would not include the state pension as it would mean pensioners would lose out. “I have had representations that the basic state pension should be included,” he said, “but that would mean cutting pensions for those who’ve worked hard all their lives.”
Speaking to Andrew Neil, Chris Leslie said: “We think the government has a short term approach but in the longer term if you’re talking about structural welfare issues you do have to think about pensions, because they have to be sustainable.” Leslie added that Labour supports the government’s pension triple lock, but that it would consider removing payments like the winter fuel allowance for the richest five per cent of pensioners.