State pension: Gloria De Piero epic skewering of pensions minister on triple-lock increase
Guy Opperman quizzed on state pensions by GB News host
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The State Pension triple lock is a commitment made by the Government to update the basic and new state pension sum annually. Each year, the sum rises by the highest of earnings, prices, or 2.5 percent in order to protect the state pension sum for the future. With many people reliant on the state pension in later life as a key source of income, the prospect of a disappearing triple lock is concerning.
And with the future of the policy increasingly being brought into question, the Government is now facing pressure.
Journalist and former Labour Party politician Gloria De Piero, today appeared on GB News, where amongst other topics, the state pension was on the agenda.
The future of the triple lock was discussed on the newly-launched channel, where pensioner income was discussed.
Ms De Piero honed in on this matter, where she grilled the pensions minister Guy Opperman on the future of the policy.
Asking whether pensioners are in line for a triple lock pensions boost, she directly questioned the minister on the issue.
Ms De Piero said: “You have said that there are a variety of factors on the triple lock.
“However, your commitment to the triple lock? That remains doesn’t it.
“Pensioners will be in for a big rise then! That’s what the data says.”
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It seemed, though, as if the pensions minister was quick not to tie the Government to the longevity of the policy as of yet.
Mr Opperman was quick to fire back with a response on the matter, appearing to urge patience.
He said: “I think what you’re doing is jumping the gun – the decision is not made until the autumn.
“What you’re taking is an individual set of figures, the most recent figures but those are not the figures that are based upon the triple lock calculation calculated in the autumn.
“So it’s fair of you to speculate. However, the bottom line is is that the decision will not be taken until the autumn.”
The question from Ms De Piero comes as analysis has shown the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to spend up to £4billion more on pensioners from next year if the Triple Lock is adhered to.
As a result of the fluctuation of wages data, average UK earnings rose to 5.6 percent in April.
And it is estimated this rate could rise to approximately eight percent by July 2021.
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Since the start of the pandemic, the future of the triple lock policy has been discussed, and often thrown into doubt.
Some have suggested the policy is too expensive to continue in its current format, given the strain on the economy over the last 18 months.
However, understandably there has been push-back from pensioners who are keen to protect their state pension income in the years to come.
The Treasury has said the new rate of state pensions will be announced by the Work and Pensions Secretary, Dr Therese Coffey, in her annual review.
But the decision will ultimately lie with both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister on the future of the policy.
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