David Cameron pledges to 'protect' state pension

 

David Cameron: "I want people to know that they can have dignity and security in their old age"

The state pension will continue to rise by at least 2.5% a year until 2020 if the Conservatives win the next election, David Cameron has said.

The PM pledged to keep the "triple lock" system, which ensures the state pension goes up by whichever is higher - inflation, wages or 2.5%.

He said it was "fair" to prioritise pensions even at a time when benefits for younger people were being slashed.

Labour said it supported the triple lock "in principle".

'Dignity and security'

Mr Cameron has described the "triple lock" announcement as the "first plank" of the Conservative general election manifesto.

But in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he rejected suggestions it was a purely political move aimed at attracting older voters back to the Tory fold.

Analysis

All politicians know there are votes in appealing to the older generation.

That is why Labour and the Lib Dems are unlikely to oppose David Cameron's state pension "guarantee" despite concerns it will increase the transfer of wealth in the UK from young to old.

But Mr Cameron may have a particular set of more mature voters in mind with his "triple lock" announcement.

A new poll by Lord Ashcroft suggests Tory voters are deserting the party for UKIP in even greater numbers than previously thought.

Research last year by YouGov suggested UKIP draws the majority of its support from older people - far more so than the traditional "big three" parties.

This is one way for Mr Cameron to tempt them back to the fold without getting involved in potentially bruising rows with Nigel Farage about immigration and the EU.

"It's a choice based on values, based on my values." he told Andrew Marr.

"I want people when they reach retirement to know that they can have dignity and security in their old age.

"People who have worked hard, who have done the right thing, who have provided for their families, they should then know they will get a decent state pension and they don't have to worry about it lagging behind prices or earnings and I think that's the right choice for the country."

He said the government also had to do more to help young people such as increasing the number of apprenticeships.

He refused to drawn on whether the Conservatives would cut back on pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel payment, free bus passes and television licences for the over 75s.

The Lib Dems and Labour have both supported the pensions "triple lock" in principle but have made no commitment about whether they would keep it after the next election.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "We will set out our plans in the manifesto for all of our tax and spending proposals.

"That's the right time to do it but nobody should be in any doubt about my commitment to the triple-lock on pensions."

Asked whether the triple lock would be included in any welfare cap, he said: "In the short term we've said they're not part of the social security cap. Obviously in the longer term we have to keep an eye on these things, the long term forecasts for pensions."

'Gravy first'

Mr Miliband said he was more concerned about David Cameron's hint, in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr, that he was hoping to be able to offer tax cuts as the economy improved and left open the door to a further reduction in the top rate of income tax.

Ed Miliband: "Nobody should be in any doubt about my commitment to the triple-lock on pensions"

"So he wants further tax cuts for the richest in our society at a time when ordinary families are facing a cost of living crisis," added Mr Miliband.

Former Labour minister and long-standing poverty campaigner Frank Field warned there would have to be tax increases to pay for any "triple-lock" pledge and asked why "yet again pensioners should be exempt when everybody else is being called on, quite rightly, to make sacrifices".

He told the BBC News Channel: "Younger families, with children, who are hungry deserve a similar amount of dignity, particularly if they are working.

"If you are promising one group - a group that is more certain to vote - that they will get the gravy first, you are saying to others there is less for you... and somebody is going to have to pay the taxes to foot that bill."

The triple lock was introduced by the coalition and means many pensions have risen by about £15 per week since 2010.

Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that the state pension age would increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and to 69 in the late 2040s.

It will rise to 66 by 2020 and to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Mr Cameron has previously faced criticism - including from senior Conservative cabinet members - for sticking to a 2010 election promise not to cut benefits for the elderly.

But Paul Green from Saga, which specialises in products and services for the over-50s, said: "David Cameron's commitment to the triple lock for the state pension will be warmly welcomed by British pensioners, giving them confidence that their lifetime of work will be properly valued by society."

The triple lock has already helped protect pensioners' incomes at a time when earnings growth has been low.

As a result, the basic state pension will be about £440 a year higher from next April than it would have been if it had risen in line with average earnings since 2011-12.

The triple lock meant the basic state pension rose by 5.2% in 2012, or £5.30 a week - the largest cash rise ever seen.

In April 2013, it rose by £2.70 to £110.15 a week - a rise of 2.5%, which was higher than either earnings or inflation.

 

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  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 1017.

    Decent policy from a decent man. Anyone who thinks the other lot would make a better job of running the country are in clear denial and were obviously comatose or abroad from 1997 to 2010!
    I agree, at least they are trying to get things sorted. I can't remember the other party doing anything. We have all paid the price for their complete mess and I will never vote for them again, never.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1016.

    Unless the mainstream parties grasp hold of the politically neutral idea of ensuring all money is created by the state (as the law of 1844 intended) then this must either be a hollow promise or impose debt on us all. 97% of the money in the economy is created as debt by private banks. Only once we have full reserve banking can we *start* the recovery.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 1015.

    Of course no mention that pensions have been reduced to CPI indexation by this coalition while price increases such as rail travel are still linked to the higher RPI. We are not stupid Cameron!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1014.

    would not trust Cameron as far as i could throw him pensions should go up by at least 50% for retired workers

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1013.

    The left whingers are really out in force today. Before you slate everyone who doesn't share your view just look at the economics of pensions and our ageing population and put forward a suggestion that works. It is not simple.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1012.

    If I hear anymore promises from these crackpots i will scream , the old voting catching election promises roll out ! Let's remember a lot of poor souls will never see a pension because of increasing retirement age ! Why do mp's retire earlier , o I know they work harder poor things and get a gold plated pension ! What a load of tosh.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1011.

    1001.Chubby1



    'You'll find that most of the public agree with the toning down of the public sectors over-generous and unsustainable gold-plated pensions.'

    You do know that the average 'gold plated' public sector pension is a massive £4000 per annum, don't you?

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 1010.

    He's a proven liar, like all politicians are.

  • Comment number 1009.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 1008.

    @ Dwight Payne, 665 You are the bigger fool for not letting your offspring and more stupidly your grandchildren live within there incomes. Let them make their own way in the world as Christmas should not be at every beck and call.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1007.

    973.Nevilles_advocate
    "@953 ..better than voting for a much of hysterical,racist reactionaries like yourselves who take advantage of the large proportion of this county who believe everything the Daily Mail tells them.If I could replace UKIP voters with immigrants from eastern Europe .. in a heartbeat."
    ==

    I'm no Tory,nor would I put foreigners ahead of my own Countrymen!

    Call me 'RACIST', Nev!

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 1006.

    Smells suspiciously like electioneering to me. Considering the tories wiped their pre 2010 election promises from their website, it's clear they don't want to be measured against their policies and their actual delivery. You simply can't buy votes like that especially in the light of the Granny Tax, Pasty Tax, Bedroom Tax, bullying of the unemployed and people will disabilities.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1005.

    "986.preatel0606

    So how will these rises be paid for? "

    Well they could have a stab at collecting the £35bn tax (officially, probably nearer £100bn) that's lost through avoision annually, rather the *reducing* the number of tax inspectors to encourage it. Do that and 'austerity' is redundant.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1004.

    990. JUDOGGY - I'm not sure that you're right in that it was hard work that their parents put in. If your parents were lucky enough to have bought a property all those years ago they will have seen an increase in value due to the property market boom we have seen and it was nothing to do with their "hard work". It is the artificially high prices now that are preventing the young from buying

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1003.

    He could promise me anything to get my vote however I have noticed he is a lying toff who still thinks he is an elite club and the poor around him should be grateful for his scraps no way should anyone be duped by him he cares only for a small circle around him who keep ending up in court and prison for there lying and cheating

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1002.

    Most pensioners help their children and grandchildren, which saves on childcare. We only want what we have worked for, but I cannot see that anyone could live on state pension alone, you must also have a works pension. A lot of people out there did not bother about their old age and are now paying the price.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1001.

    @989.David Dun

    ''...The Conservatives destroyed the future for every single public sector worker by stealing their pensions... an attempt to save the conservative pension raiders from a public backlash...''

    You'll find that most of the public agree with the toning down of the public sectors over-generous and unsustainable gold-plated pensions.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1000.

    963 Mikey: would it get cross party support- after all, Labour never attempted it in thirteen ears of power.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 999.

    State Pension: £110.15 a week

    === Not too bad at all, much better than India

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 998.

    Hey folks,,,lets not forget Call-me-Dave's magic words,,

    We are all in this together!!!!! Yeah right Dave, well come next election we will see who's in this together won't we!!

 

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