‘Will you stick to 8%?!’ Rishi Sunak drops hint triple lock could be ditched this year

Breakfast: Charlie Stayt interrupts Rishi Sunak

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The State Pension triple lock could see the sum rise by eight percent this year, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has suggested. This is as a result of “unusual pandemic-related fluctuations in earnings growth” as many people get back into work. With many debating on whether the sum will be scrapped altogether due to this kind of increase, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak this morning appeared on BBC Breakfast to address the matter.

He was pressed by presenter Charlie Stayt on the future of the policy, and the decisions the Government are set to make on the increase.

Mr Stayt asked a question which has been raised by many within recent days and weeks, saying: “Is the commitment to the state pension triple lock an absolute guarantee?

“Given what we know about how the figures are working out around that, is it fair?”

The Chancellor responded by suggesting he would need to wait to determine what the numbers were before making a decision on the issue, but acknowledged there were “concerns” about the increase.

Mr Stayt pushed the matter further, after seemingly perceiving Mr Sunak was not directly answering the question posed.

He said: “Let me try one more avenue then, and let people to judge for themselves.

“If the number – that we don’t have – and we are speculating on, is eight percent…if it is eight percent, then will you stick it? To your commitment?”

However, the Chancellor refused to respond on whether a bumper increase of this kind was feasible, or if it would in fact be enacted by the Government.

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While he repeated the idea that the matter is the policy outlined in the Conservative manifesto, he provided no further detail on the type of increase – if any – Britons can expect.

Responding, he said: “Charlie, as I have just said, I am not going to get drawn into speculating about what may or may not happen.

“What I can tell you is that our approach is being driven by fairness – both for pensioners and for taxpayers.

“And as I said, I recognise the concerns which people have raised about this matter.

“That is as much as I can say at this juncture, given that this is something which will be raised in the future.”

Office for Budget Responsibility figures have suggested the extent of the cost of maintaining a triple lock which could rise to eight percent.

The organisation warned Rishi Sunak may have to draw together billions of pounds in order to protect the sum for state pensioners.

It has been estimated the Treasury would have to stump up some £3billion a year under a bumper pension increase.

The report read: “The triple lock raises spending by £0.9 billion for every one percentage point.

“If earnings growth in the three months to July period that determines triple lock uprating for next April was eight percent, as some expect, that would add around £3 billion a year to spending.”

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An increase by eight percent would see the state pension rise to a full sum of £194 per week.

Pensioners would be entitled to this amount if they built up a suitable number of National Insurance contributions throughout their lifetime.

It is usually stated that to get any state pension at all, a person will need to have 10 qualifying years of contributions.

And to receive the full sum, a total of 35 years of National Insurance are usually needed.

For a person to find out how much they are scheduled to receive in the state pension, there is a Government tool by which to do so.

Britons can use a state pension forecast – accessible online, through the BR19 application form, or by calling the Future Pension Centre.

For those already getting their state pension, or individuals who have delayed claiming it, contacting the Pension Service is key. 

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