Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond have both refused to commit to maintaining the state pension triple lock as the election campaign gets underway.
The Daily Mail reports at a campaigning event in her Maidenhead constituency, May avoided giving a firm answer on whether the triple lock, which sees pensions rise by wages, inflation or 2.5 per cent, will be kept if the Conservatives hold on to power.
Asked to commit to the triple lock, May said: “What I would say to pensioners is just look what the Conservatives in Government have done.
“Pensioners today are £1,250 better off as a result of action that has been taken.
“We were very clear about the need to support people in their old age, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
The Chancellor went further, according to the Financial Times.
Speaking on a visit to Washington last week, Hammond said: “We said back in the Autumn Statement we would review these issues before the next election . . . that is the right thing for us to do and we’ll set out our position in the manifesto.”
He caused a stir among fellow Conservatives by suggesting the party’s pledge not to increase income tax, national insurance or VAT “constrained the ability of the Government to manage the economy flexibly.”
Hammond was later forced to issue a clarifying statement that the Conservatives would always be “the low-tax party.”