Rishi Sunak will keep promise not to axe triple lock pensions

Rishi Sunak will keep his promise and won’t axe triple lock pensions ahead of the next general election.

The Prime Minister was warned it would be ‘political suicide’ if he did not maintain the commitment after he previously stayed silent on the policy.

Many feared he would waiver beyond next year’s 8.5 per cent rise in state pensions, after experts said it could add up to £45 billion a year to the welfare bill by 2050. 

There had been debate about ditching the guarantee in the next manifesto, after Treasury officials discussed pausing the triple lock, which increases pensions each April by whatever is highest out of average earnings rises, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

However, it appears the Prime Minister has decided not to take the one-off break after voters reacted in fury.

READ MORE: State pension warning as triple lock rise forces millions into paying more tax[LATEST]

A Government source told the Mail on Sunday that concerns over the spiralling costs of the measure first introduced by the Coalition Government in the 2010 Budget, have been overridden in No 10.

Several Tory MPs facing looming by-elections feared that axing the policy would cost them their seat, putting at risk securing the vote of over 60s.

The source said that while the policy is costly, “the political cost of abolishing it would be higher. Suicidal”.

It comes after Mr Sunak did a U-turn on the Government’s net zero promise this week. 

He said on Tuesday the UK will stick by its net-zero commitment, but rolled back measures designed to keep the country on track to meet its climate goals by 2050.

He said these measures imposed “unacceptable costs” on ordinary people, a claim climate experts strongly refute, and said the UK will instead pursue a “pragmatic” approach to hitting the target.

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Under the existing triple lock system, the full-rate state pension of £203.85 a week, which rose by 10.1 per cent this year, is due to increase to £221.20 next year. It means the annual payout of £11,501 is edging close to the £12,570 at which tax becomes payable.

A Government spokesman said: “We are committed to the triple lock. As is the usual process, the Secretary of State [for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride] will conduct his statutory annual review of benefits and state pensions in the autumn, using the most recent data available, and we won’t pre-empt that. We don’t comment on speculation around future manifesto commitments.”

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