THERESA MAY refused yesterday to guarantee the retention of the triple-lock pensions system if the Tories are reelected on June 8.
The Prime Minister suggested that she could modify triple lock, under which the value of the state pension increases in line with wages, inflation or by 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest.
“Under a Conservative government, the state pension will still go up every year of the next parliament,” she told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1.
“Exactly how we calculate that increase will be for the manifesto and, as I have just said, you will have to wait for the manifesto to see what’s in it.”
Labour has committed to maintaining the triple lock until 2025, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell warning that abandoning it would plunge pensioners into poverty and see “the poorest lose out.”
He said: “I do not want to go backwards. “I do not want pensioners going back into poverty again.”
National Pensioners Convention general secretary Jan Shortt pointed out that one in six retired people live below the poverty line and many more have an income of less than £11,500 a year.
She said: “Even with the triple lock in place, the state pension is still lower than it would have been had the link with earnings not been broken in 1980.
“And future-generation pensioners of pensioners are going to increasingly rely on the state pension in their retirement as their occupational pensions decline.”
Both Labour and the Tories also pledged yesterday not to raise VAT above the current level of 20 per cent if elected.