Pensions ‘triple lock’ not at risk, says Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng


cabinet minister has played down reports the Government will end the “triple lock” on pensions to help pay for the cost of the pandemic.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng sought to reassure the public following reports suggesting the Government was looking at suspending the promise, which guarantees the state pension increases in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher.

However, Mr Kwarteng told LBC on Monday: “The triple lock is something which we have been committed to for a number of years now. There has never been any suggestion that would be changed and I am sure it will be maintained.

“It is obviously a matter for the Chancellor to think about but I don’t think there is any chance he will change it.” It comes amid reports of a growing row between No10 and the Treasury over post pandemic spending.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were reportedly due to meet the Prime Minister on Tuesday to discuss social care.

Mr Johnson was described as being “pretty set” on the plan devised by economist Sir Andrew Dilnot to cap care costs at £50,000 a person so families do not have to sell their home to pay for care, according to the Sunday Times.

However, the Chancellor is apparently pointing out the plan will disproportionately benefit voters in the south of England, where property is worth more, and that the final bill will run to billions.

In his first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019 Boris Johnson told the public: “I am announcing now — on the steps of Downing Street — that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared.”

However, the Health Secretary on Monday left the door open to a further six months before a potential plan materialises. Asked if there will be a plan for social care by the end of this year, Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “That’s right, yes, you can tie me down on that bit.”

Pressed on reports that Tuesday’s meeting had been cancelled, Mr Hancock declined to comment, adding: “I’m absolutely not going to get into private conversations and the timing of those.”


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