MPs to debate state pension triple-lock in welfare reform inquiry

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The Work and Pensions committee has launched an inquiry into how fairly the welfare system treats different generations.

It will look at whether government policy – including the triple-lock on state pension increases – is leading to “intergenerational unfairness”.

The committee notes baby boomers are set to receive 118 per cent of what they contribute but younger people are forecast to have less wealth at every stage of their lives.

In addition to pensions, the inquiry will look at health, education and housing, and potential reform to policies such as winter fuel payments.

In October the Government Actuary Department published a note warning the triple-lock was costing the state £6bn a year.

Committee chair Frank Field says: “Voters have two priorities for welfare reform: ‘is it fair’ and ‘is it affordable’.

“Politicians of successive governments have ducked both of these fundamental questions when it comes to the different levels of income afforded to those above and others below retirement age.

“Is it fair and affordable to divert a large and growing sum of public expenditure toward pensioners – regardless of their circumstances – while mainly poor families with children face year-on-year restrictions on their income?”

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pensions Richard Graham says: “At a time when there is significant pressure on public spending, people are living longer, pensions are starting later and care costs rising there will also always be issues about relative fairness between generations.

“How has public spending between generations altered over the years and what are the implications? The Committee will look at these issues.”