Labour backs Waspi and triple lock in pension manifesto

Labour

Labour has promised to give more support to women affected by increases in their state pension age in its “pensioner’s pledge card” published today.

Labour Chancellor John McDonnell published the party’s promises today on his Twitter account. The pledges also include keeping the state pension triple lock until 2025, protecting the state pensions of overseas pensioners, and keeping pensioner perks such as free bus passes.

McDonnell says Labour will “end Tory unfairness” for women impacted by state pension age increases, and will compensate those worst affected.

The triple lock commitment goes against the recent recommendations of the Work and Pensions Committee and the Cridland Review.

The Government-commissioned review by former Confederation of British Industry director general John Cridland into the state pension age, published in March, recommended the triple lock be withdrawn at the next parliament.

The report said: “In the longer term the retention of the triple lock is forecast to become a very significant factor in the cost of the state pension. It is estimated that it would be responsible for 0.9 per cent of GDP in 2066/67. This will raise questions of intergenerational fairness as between those in work and those in retirement.”

In a November 2016 report, the Work and Pensions Committee also argued the triple lock should be dropped after its inquiry into inter-generational fairness.

Responding to Labour’s triple lock pledge, AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “The cost of Labour’s triple-lock promise is, of course, uncertain – if earnings and inflation are below 2.5 per cent between 2020 and 2025, for example, it could be very expensive.”

“Equally, if earnings is the highest of the components it could cost nothing – assuming Theresa May isn’t planning on imitating Margaret Thatcher by scrapping the earnings link altogether.”