Triple lock victory – Express campaign protects crucial state pension rise

Jeremy Hunt heard the demands of nearly 280,000 people who backed our petition with Silver Voices for payments to rise by 8.5 percent.

The Government will honour its commitment to the triple lock “in full” by increasing the state pension to £221.20 a week from April 2024, the Chancellor confirmed in a highly political Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

It followed months of uncertainty over whether the Chancellor would try to shave £900million off the bill by using a lower figure.

Silver Voices director Dennis Reed said: “We smashed it again! The Daily Express/Silver Voices campaign has saved the Triple Lock for the second year running, thanks to the strong support of our readers and members.

“The Government heeded our warning that to dilute or scrap the Lock would deepen the cost-of-living crisis for older people.

“We will now campaign for the Triple Lock to be included in the 2024 Manifestos of all the major political parties, to try and take the party politics out of safeguarding the incomes of senior citizens during economic hard times.

“But for now, this decision is a welcome fillip, as we enter what is likely to be a tough winter with energy and food prices continuing to rise.

“The Government has listened to our concerns over the state pension and we are delighted that the Triple Lock formula has been confirmed for 2024.”

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Mr Hunt confirmed the triple-lock formula for state pension rises would be implemented as usual and promised: “A Conservative government will always back our pensioners.”

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons, he said: “After a global pandemic and energy crisis, we have taken difficult decisions to put our economy back on track. We have supported families with rising bills, cut borrowing and halved inflation.

“Rather than a recession, the economy has grown. Rather than falling as predicted, real incomes have risen. Our plan for the British economy is working. But the work is not done.”

The triple lock links state pension increases to the highest of 2.5 per cent, wages rises or inflation.

Office for National Statistics figures put average earnings between May and July up 8.5 per cent on the previous year.

Mr Hunt confirmed that he would stick to the traditional calculation for next April’s rise rather than stripping out public sector bonuses to pay a lower rate of 7.8 per cent.

It means the full basic state pension will rise by £13.30 per week, from £156.20 to £169.50. While the full new state pension will rise by £17.35 per week, from £203.85 to £221.20.

The triple lock was introduced by the coalition government in 2010 and came into force the following year.

It has been applied every year since, except for a temporary suspension in 2022/23 as a result of the pandemic.

But the lock has faced uncertainty since then as the government under Liz Truss and then Rishi Sunak tried to find ways to save money.

Analysis of official figures found around 1.2 million households are “mainly reliant” on the dependent on the state pension for their retirement income.

It means at least three-quarters of their cash comes from the payment.

Single pensioners account for most of the households largely and three times as many women, 580,000, as men 180,000, rely primarily on it.

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