LibLink: Lord Sharkey on protecting pensions

Lib Dem peer John Sharkey has written in Politics Home under the headline “We must protect the triple lock on pensions ahead of a difficult winter“. He writes:

For the second time in a month, pensioners have been plunged into uncertainty over the future of their payments with the new Prime Minister refusing to take anything off the table ahead of the fiscal statement.

The triple lock was a core Liberal Democrat policy brought in by the Coalition government and we are determined to protect it throughout this turbulent time in politics.

This is in spite of the pledge by Rishi Sunak to uphold the 2019 Conservative manifesto which states “We will keep the triple lock”.

Research from the House of Commons Library, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, has found that the impact of inflation on a typical pensioner on a Basic State Pension would be a real terms cut of £3.30 a week, or £171.60 a year. It is simply unacceptable that those most exposed to the impacts of this cost of living are those experiencing these significant falls in their income.

Indeed, the Liberal Democrats would go further than just protecting the triple lock on pensions. More must be done to tackle fuel poverty among our elderly population.

We would double the Warm Homes Discount this year, giving up to £600 to 11.3m pensioners to fight fuel poverty. Our plan would fund this intervention through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers and traders, including Russia’s Gazprom trading arm based in London.

The triple lock was, as John says, one of the good Lib Dem ideas that actually made its way into government. We should campaign to keep it.

You can read the full article here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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