The Tories are coming under pressure to renege on one of their major manifesto promises, to maintain the triple lock tying pension increases to pay rises.
Our state pensions is not good enough, but still need to be protected from this government
Fairness isn’t a phrase I can associate with this current government. So when the chancellor talks about being fair it is worth looking a bit closer at what he might mean. The Tories are coming under pressure to renege on one of their major manifesto promises, to maintain the triple lock tying pension increases to pay rises.
It is worth recalling that Thatcher scrapped the link between earnings and the state pension sending around 2million old age pensioners spiralling into poverty. In 2010 the triple lock was put into place to protect pensioners from inflation in the form of rising bills, but now it is under threat, as it is going to cost too much this year because of Covid complications affecting earnings.
So who isn’t this protection fair to? Apparently it is unfair to young people and the “taxpayers”. Strange that because I always thought most pensioners had paid national insurance and taxes during their long working lives, which covers the state pension. I also understand that most young people get old and become pensioners.
Retired members of our communities face rising costs, for many things including the stress of planning for funerals for themselves and their loved ones. Let’s look at pensions in this country and how they compare with other European states and remind ourselves that ours at £137.60 is not the most generous retirement package by a far stretch.
- In Ireland the weekly payment to OAPs will rise to £214.
- Netherlands pays pensioners a weekly benefit of £260.84 (£178.33 each for a couple)
- Denmark have a means tested system but pay out £398.87 (294.41).
We don’t compare too well on how we provide for our retired workers.
If the triple lock is scrapped even temporarily it will impact on future pensioners, that’s right those currently described as “the young”. Most of these young people no longer have access to decent final salary schemes as many have been scrapped in the last 25 years. Which means they will have to rely on measly money purchase schemes and the state pension.
Government ministers and MPs are briefing their pals in the media to create this divisive comparison between the young and older members of our communities? Looking at what a lot of our European neighbours get, points to a different suggestion, that our pension needs to rise by the proposed 8% next year to close the gap even a small amount. And for everyone to remember “ Never trust a Tory government with our pensions”.
GMB NWI Region