Jeremey Hunt warned older voters will never forgive if he fiddles triple …

Campaigners warned the pledge must be honoured in full amid claims the Chancellor is planning to pay out a lower rate in the autumn statement.

Mr Hunt is expected to make tax cuts to get the economy “fizzing” when he delivers the financial update on Wednesday.

But he was warned cutting taxes without meeting the 8.5 per cent state pension rise that is expected under the triple lock would anger older voters.

Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, said there should not be any tax cuts while millions of older people are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

He said: “The Government may think that they will get away with a technical downgrading of the Triple Lock but they underestimate the wrath of older people at their peril.

“We have been ignored, threatened and provoked so many times in the last few years and the dam of anger is about to burst.
“Many will judge that the Government can’t be bothered to safeguard the incomes of older people and is content for pensioner poverty to rise.

“No Tory MP will be safe in their seat at the general election if the full triple lock increase is denied to older people, and this Government will never be forgiven for taking the Silver Vote for granted.”

Wage growth figures should mean a guaranteed 8.5 per cent increase in the state pension from April.

READ MORE: Anything less than 8.5 per cent and Jeremy Hunt is killing off the triple lo…

But the Chancellor has been looking at stripping out bonuses to reduce the figure to 7.8 per cent, which would leave recipients £75 a year worse off than expected.

It would save the Treasury around £900 million next year.

Nearly 280,000 people have backed our crusade with Silver Voices for the triple lock to be honoured in full.

An 8.5 per cent rise in the full new state pension would take it from around £204 per week to £221.

A smaller rise of 7.8 per cent would instead take it from around £204 per week to around £220.

For the basic state pension it would rise to around £170 under the higher figure or £168 a week under the lower one.

Sir Steve Webb, partner at LCP said: “It would be deeply cynical to fiddle the figures when the formula comes up with the wrong answer.

“The whole point of having a rule is that you stick to it when it is difficult as well as when it is easy.

“It’s not as though the state pension is a king’s ransom. The triple lock was put in place to undo 30 years of damage.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will today give a speech on the state of the economy following official figures showing last week that he has met his pledge to halve inflation, which now stands at 4.6 per cent.

Mr Hunt has as much as an estimated £20 billion room for manoeuvre in the autumn statement after improved public finances, compared to the £6.5 billion forecast in spring.

He indicated tax cuts will be announced on Wednesday but suggested reviving the economy will be top priority.

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Mr Hunt said: “I want to show people there’s a path to lower taxes. But we also want to be honest with people, this is not going to happen overnight.

“It requires enormous discipline year in, year out.”

The Chancellor said his “priority is backing British business” and promising an “autumn statement for growth”.

“I think it’s important for a productive, dynamic, fizzing economy that you motivate people to do the work, to take the risks that we need,” he said.

Mr Hunt said there is too much “defeatism” about Britain and the country has “turned a corner”.

“We do recognise things are tough. We’re not out of the woods yet,” he added.

“But I think it is also the case, as we focus on growth, that there’s too much negativity about the British economy.

“There is a sort of defeatism. Actually, when you look at it, there’s a lot going for it.

“One example, the sector that is going to define all of us in the next 20 years, the technology sector, we have just become the third largest in the world after the United States and China. That is going to be a tremendous strength going forward for the UK.”

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Tax cuts for low and middle earners have been considered.

Treasury insiders insisted that changes to national insurance or income tax are not necessarily inflationary “depending on how you do them”.

One option for income tax would be to increase the threshold that workers start paying the higher rate 40 per cent rate, which has been frozen at £50,271 until 2028.

It is expected to drag 2.6 million more people into paying at the higher level, including senior nurses and police.

The income tax personal allowance has also been frozen at £12,570, which means an estimated three million more people will end up paying tax.

A widely expected change to inheritance tax to protect more people from paying it is not now likely on Wednesday.

Mr Hunt insisted “everything is on the table in an autumn statement” and stressed “lower tax is essential to economic growth”.
A Treasury source said: “The Chancellor wants to use the tax system to promote economic growth.”

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