Broken triple lock promise creates cost of living black hole 

A template press release on the Government’s broken triple lock promise on pensions negating their council tax rebate, following today’s inflation figures.


Dear all,

Please see below for a template press release on the Government’s broken triple lock promise on pensions negating their council tax rebate, following today’s inflation figures.

Please use this spreadsheet to fill in the data. Sheet 1 is the amount of money lost per constituency per year. Sheet 2 pertains to the benefits of doubling the Warm Home Discount and Winter Fuel Allowance. This template is for use in England, Scotland and Wales.

Note 1: Sheet 2 is organised by local authority area.

Note 2: The “amount of money lost per constituency” is based on a calculation that assumes all pensioners in each area receive the full Basic State Pension. This does not account for people that don’t qualify for the full state pension, as this data is not publicly available. However the total figure in each constituency will likely be slightly higher as some pensioners will receive the New State Pension.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a shout on press@libdems.org.uk 

Warm regards,

Joel

[TEMPLATE] Broken triple lock promise creates cost of living black hole

[INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 1, COLUMN C] pensioners in [INSERT AREA] left out in the cold as broken triple lock promise creates [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 1, COLUMN F] cost of living black hole

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of leaving pensioners in [INSERT AREA] with a “hole in their pocket” after breaking a manifesto promise to protect the state pension.

In the wake of inflation hitting a thirty year high of 5.5% in January, a typical pensioner in [INSERT AREA] is set to see their income fall by £171.60 this year in real terms. This is a total loss of income of [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 1, COLUMN E] between [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 1, COLUMN C] pensioners in [INSERT AREA] due to the Conservative government’s decision to break a key manifesto promise and scrap the triple lock on pensions.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats has shown this broken promise will wipe out the “paltry support” being offered by the government to help pensioners cope with soaring energy bills.  Even those pensioners who qualify for a council tax rebate will be left over £20 poorer in real terms, while those on the New State Pension will be left short-changed by £76.20. It means retirees in [INSERT AREA] are facing down a [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 1, COLUMN F] gulf between their lost pension income and support, with that only gulf only set to widen further with the Bank of England forecasting inflation in April of 7.25

[INSERT AREA] Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to row back on their broken promise and guarantee a fairer increase to the state pension. The party is also calling for a doubling and expansion to the Warm Home Discount, giving [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 2, COLUMN C] households in [AREA] £300 each off their heating bills this year & a doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance, to the benefit of [INSERT FIGURE - SHEET 2, COLUMN E] households.

Liberal Democrat [SPOKESPERSON/CHAIR/CANDIDATE/ETC.] for [INSERT AREA], [INSERT NAME], said:

“These figures expose a black hole in the Government’s cost of living package for pensioners.

“In breaking their manifesto promise and failing to protect the state pension, the Conservatives have plunged older people in [INSERT AREA] into the depths of a cost of living crisis. Their paltry support doesn’t even begin to cover the additional costs people are facing during this cold and bitter winter. 

“Pensioners are among the most vulnerable people in [INSERT AREA]. This out of touch Government has left them out in the cold, with a hole in their pocket and even harsher days ahead.

“It’s high time the Government showed some common sense and ensured a fair increase to the state pension. But we also need to see something much more ambitious to help pensioners in [INSERT AREA]. Doubling the Warm Home Discount and Winter Fuel Allowance, funded through a Robin Hood tax on the super-profits of oil and gas giants, would be a good place to start.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Full data by constituency and pensions triple lock calculator

The Conservatives broke their 2019 manifesto promise by scrapping the triple lock this year, opting instead to uprate pensions using last September’s inflation figure of 3.1%. Ministers used September’s CPI despite warnings that inflation would reach much higher levels in coming months due to surging energy prices and a rising cost of living - warnings that have come to fruition with inflation at its highest level in thirty years.

House of Commons Library research has found that the difference between the September inflation rate of 3.1% and current inflation of 5.5% in January 2022 already equates to £2.2 billion less spending on the State Pension next year. The impact on an individual Basic State Pension would be a real-terms cut of £3.30 a week, or £171.60 a year. On an individual New State Pension it would mean a real-term cut of £4.35 a week, or £226.20 a year.

Real terms calculation does not include £200 energy debt, which is simply spreading the pain of higher energy bills over several years.

As part of the Liberal Democrat cost of living rescue package, the party has proposed: 

Taking £300 off the heating bills of around 7.5 million vulnerable and low income households, by doubling the Warm Home Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit.

Giving up to £600 a year to 11.3 million elderly pensioners to help with their heating bills, through a one-off doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance. 

This would be funded 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.

Full value of basic and new State Pensions

Full value of basic and new State Pensions

£ per week, nominal (cash) terms

 

 Basic State Pension

 New State Pension

2021/22 full rate, actual

 

£137.60

£179.60

2022/23 illustrative amounts if uprated by:

 

 

 

• CPI inflation in September 2021

3.1%

£141.85

£185.15

• CPI inflation in January 2022

5.5%

£145.15

£189.50

 

 

 

 

Difference:

 

£3.30

£4.35

Annual difference:

 

£171.60

£226.20