Pension triple lock scrapped for a year. But will the Tories stop there?

This Site predicted the suspension of the pensions triple lock, so it’s no surprise here.

The problem with the commitment to increase pensions every year by the highest of pensions, earnings or 2.5 per cent is that it did not anticipate a huge fall in earnings like that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a similarly whopping rise when everybody went back to work and pay packets re-balanced.

It meant the highest of the three benchmarks – this year – is a massive eight per cent increase. And the Tories don’t want to pay it.

Back in July, I suggested the Tories were making a big fuss about nothing because they could impose a stop-gap increase that reflects the increase in the cost of living (which is what the triple lock is supposed to do).

It turns out that the Tories are doing something similar. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said that – for this year only – pensions would rise by inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. The earnings increase will be restored to the calculation next year.

The decision has caused bitter resentment in some quarters, because people are upset that the Tories have broken a manifesto promise.

But this misses the point completely.

The point is that the UK state pension is one of the worst pension deals in the whole world.

On retirement, our pensioners will receive, on average, 29 per cent of their former earnings. This compares with an increase of 0.6 per cent in the Netherlands, more than 90 per cent of former earnings in Portugal, Italy and Austria, and an OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) nations’ average of nearly 63 per cent.

In fact, the UK’s pensions deal comes in at slightly worse than that provided in… Mexico.

This was a chance to level up the UK pension with some of our closest neighbours – but the Tories didn’t want to. That’s why people should be angry.

Of course, with the national insurance increase that the Tories say will pay for social care (eventually), pensioners will be worse off than ever – because pensioners who are still earning an income will pay towards it.

And there’s another aspect to this.

It is the rivalry between the old and the young over state benefits, the perception that pensioners get more than their fair share, and that they should lose some in order to correct a perceived imbalance.

This is utter piffle.

As Craig Berry states in The Guardian,

We can and should spend more on social security for young and old people alike.

To believe that a Conservative government would invest what it saves by removing the triple lock on today’s young people requires some magical thinking.

In practice, by reducing the state pension accrual rate (the entitlements we build up in return for paying national insurance), scrapping the triple lock would effectively amount to a significant tax hike on young people.

That’s because the tax they pay now would entitle them to a lower income in retirement than previously anticipated.

So it is ridiculous to suggest that we need to cut pension increases in order to help the young. It simply won’t happen.

Let’s face it – it simply hasn’t happened.

The (alleged) social care-related increase to National Insurance will affect young people and pensioners alike.

Because that’s what Tories are like.

They don’t take away from one group that needs help, in order to give to another.

They take from both, in order to give to themselves – as you can see with Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike.

My only question is, do we believe them when they say they’re going to bring the triple lock back?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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7 thoughts on “Pension triple lock scrapped for a year. But will the Tories stop there?

  1. Grey Swans

    Pensioners do not pay worker National Insurance contributions. What is being confused here is that the boss of waged pensioners, pay employer National Insurance contributions, however old you work. But boss is not suffering an increase on his employer NI contributions.

    What pensioners could be paying (the few with that wealth) is the dividend tax on shares.

    over50sparty org uk

  2. nivekdivekd

    And who’s making these decisions? A serial liar whose food is bought by Lady Bountyford, a hedge fund manager whose shenanigans plunged the whole country into chaos in 2008, and JP Morgan’s Saturday boy who says he’s in charge of health but in fact only has experience of health payments.

  3. Elaine Jacobs

    Hi Mike. I think you meant to type inflation, rather than pensions in your first para re the triple lock.

    That aside, I agree with you; this “statistical anomaly” is an opportunity for this lying, corrupt Tory gov’t to “level up” pensions — to the ultimate benefit of all.

  4. Sandy

    Hi Mike

    It’s even more cynical than you state above as pensioners who still earn on PAYE after receiving the State Pension do NOT pay NI, although they may pay Income Tax if their earnings + Pension/s exceed £12,500. By cynically increasing NI, which pensioners don’t pay, the tories are hoping to off-set the bad publicity caused by the ‘temporary’ scraping of the Triple lock in order to mollify those tory voting pensioners who still have jobs paying enough to pay Income tax.

    It would’ve been much more fair to increase Income Tax in all bands. But by lumping the 1.25p increase on NI instead it A) will bring in much less money for health & social care. B) It will far more unfairly impact on those with pay too low for Income tax, but high enough to pay NI (IT starts from earning £240+ PW, but NI starts from earning £184+ PW.) Worst hit will be those low earners who earn just above the threshold for claiming top-up benefits. At lease those low earners claiming top-up benefits will have their benefits increased by the amount they lose in extra NI payments.

    The government also lied about how much NI is going to increase by, as the following quote from the above link proves:

    “From 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25%. This will be spent on the NHS and social care in the UK.”

    The tories (any government in fact) can get away this because a lot of people don’t understand percentages, and think that NI has increased by just 1.25% (as clearly stated above) which doesn’t sound too bad. But it’s actually going to increase by 10.42%… bit of a difference!
    Many confuse a penny in the pound increase in taxes with actually being a 1% increase, probably because there’s a 100 pennies in the pound. However, a percentage increase must always be related to the initial figure being increased. So increasing NI from 12p in the pound to 13.25p in the pound actually increases NI by 10.42%. If it had really only increased by 1.25% then NI would be 12.15p in the pound… hardly worth bothering with!
    A 1p increase in Income Tax for those paying 20p to 21p in the Pound is actually a 5% increase. However, for those paying 40p in the Pound IT, a 1p increase is a 2.5% increase. Therefore, to keep the percentage the same for all tax bands (making it a progressive and fair tax) the 40p tax band would need to increase to 42p, and the 50p tax band to 52.5%.
    This would raise much more money for the NHS & Social Care without impacting on low PAYE earners.

    I think if the MSM came up with correct and truthful headlines like, “NI to increase by nearly 10.5%”, instead of “NI to increase by 1.25p”, there would’ve been a heck of a lot more fuss made with better and more hard hitting debate as a result, hopefully leading to a more fair and considered approach to funding health and social care.
    Don’t forget that employers also pay additional NI for their PAYE employees, to increase from 13.8% to 15.05%. Expect many more dodgy practises, and more frequently, to enter the work place (forced fake self-employment, replacing a full-time worker with two part-timers, thereby increasing the welfare bill for the latter, etc) as a result.

    All in all, using NI increases in order to supposedly increase funding for health & social care in just about the most unfair and downright stupid way to go about it. A right dog’s dinner and half!

Comments are closed.