Government is ‘absolutely committed’ to pensions triple lock – Kwarteng

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has said the Government is “absolutely committed” to the state pensions triple lock, after doubts were raised about its future.

Speaking while visiting a business in Darlington, Mr Kwarteng was asked whether the lock was guaranteed to go up at this month’s inflation rate.

He replied: “The PM has been absolutely committed to the triple lock and we are absolutely committed to maintaining it.”

Concerns about the triple lock were raised after Treasury minister Chris Philp did not confirm whether benefits will be hiked in line with spiralling inflation.

He had told ITV’s Robert Peston that the matter was under consideration.

The triple lock was previously suspended for a year.

Under the guarantee, state pensions are uprated by whichever is highest of 2.5%, wages and inflation.

Inflation is expected to be by far the highest factor this year, potentially putting pensioners in line for an increase of 10% or more.

Last year, the triple lock was suspended, with pensioners receiving a 3.1% increase.

Earlier on Thursday, Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Many pensioners have been left struggling with their finances as the cost of energy and food has soared and their incomes have been unable to keep up.

“The triple lock was suspended last year as wage data was deemed to have been skewed by the pandemic furlough scheme and pensioners were instead given a 3.1% increase which aligned with CPI (Consumer Prices Index) inflation at the time.

“However, it has since soared, and many pensioners were banking on a big increase from next April to help them manage.”