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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tory Threat to Pensions as Treasury Cuts Loom

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Boris Johnson must not break his manifesto commitment by cutting the triple lock on pensions – warning pensioner poverty is already on the rise under the Tory government.

It follows reports that the Treasury is drawing up plans to break the triple lock and cut the planned increase in pensions to below the increase in average earnings.

David Linden MP (pictured) said the UK already has the lowest state pension of any country in north west Europe by comparison to pre-retirement wages, and that pensioner poverty has risen further under the Tory government after a decade of Tory austerity cuts.

The SNP Shadow Work and Pensions spokesperson said the only way to keep pensioners safe from Tory cuts is for Scotland to become an independent country with the full powers needed to protect and improve the incomes of pensioners.

Analysis from the House of Commons library, using OECD data, has revealed UK pensions are the least generous of every country in north west Europe.

UK pensioners receive around a quarter (28%) of the average working wage when they retire – lower than all thirteen neighbouring countries, including Ireland (36%), Switzerland (44%), Norway (52%), Germany (52%), Sweden (53%), Finland (64%), Belgium (66%), Iceland (70%), Denmark (71%), France (74%), Netherlands (80%), Austria (90%) and Luxembourg (90%).

The UK government’s own Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics show that UK pensioner poverty levels are on the rise, with 2.1million pensioners (18%) living in poverty after housing costs – an increase of 200,000 on 2018/19, and a 15-year high.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Work and Pensions spokesperson David Linden MP said:

“Boris Johnson must U-turn on damaging Tory plans to break the triple lock on pensions.

“The UK already has the lowest state pension of any country in north west Europe, and UK pensioner poverty is on the rise after a decade of Tory austerity cuts.

“It would be completely unacceptable for Tory ministers to cut the increased payments that millions of Scottish and UK pensioners are due – making pensioner poverty even worse.

“As the UK faces more Tory cuts, it is clear that the Tory government has no intention of building a fair recovery from covid.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to protect and improve pensioner incomes.”

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