Among the plethora of recent U-turns, Liz Truss might have just backed herself into another corner she’ll have to reverse ferret on: the pensions triple lock. In the Commons yesterday, Liz Truss said it was a manifesto promise they were committed to keeping. We’ve heard that before.
It was in stark contrast to Jeremy Hunt, who said he couldn’t confirm whether the triple lock would stay on Monday. Only yesterday morning, the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also dithered on it when asked.
The triple lock guarantees that state pensions rise in line with whichever is the highest between average earnings growth, inflation or a flat 2.5 per cent rise.
But this government is desperately looking for spending cuts, and linking payments to earnings instead of inflation could save the Treasury £5bn a year. It wouldn’t be the first time the policy was, erm, “suspended”. Rishi Sunak put a temporary pause on the triple lock after a series of lockdowns meant average earnings in the UK superficially rose, even if people’s actual wages didn’t rise.