The Liberal Democrats have published figures showing that 24,835 of State Pensioners in North Shropshire are set to be impacted by the Conservative government breaking its manifesto promise and suspending the triple lock on pensions.
The state pension triple lock is a rule that means the state pension must rise each year in line with the highest of three possible figures, inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.
It follows a vote in Parliament on the issue on Monday in which Conservative MPs including North Shropshire’s Owen Paterson, led to suspend the triple lock. This is despite a Conservatives manifesto commitment to keep the triple lock in place until 2024 and comes just weeks after Boris Johnson led his Conservative MPs to vote for a promise-breaking tax hike on National Insurance. The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Conservatives are “turning their back on local elderly residents,” many of whom are living in poverty.
The figures, based on analysis by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, show that 22.4% of people in North Shropshire will be hit by the government’s broken promise. They also show that 2,820 pensioners in the area are benefiting from state Pension Credit, which is given to the poorest pensioners.
The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment in Parliament to the Social Security Bill that called for additional support to address the impact of the pandemic on the two million pensioners currently living in poverty and making the uplift to Universal Credit permanent. Labour abstained on the vote, making the Liberal Democrats the only major UK-wide party to stand up for pensioners and oppose the government’s broken promise to them.
Commenting on Conservative broken promise, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson Helen Morgan said:
“This is yet another broken promise from the Conservatives that will hit pensioners in North Shropshire hard in the pocket.
“The government is turning its back on local elderly residents, who risk no longer being able to heat their homes this winter as energy costs spiral.
“Our pensioners deserve a fair deal. The triple lock was a cast-iron guarantee that vulnerable elderly people were relying on and the Conservatives have failed them.
“Liberal Democrats are demanding that the government supports the many pensioners in our area living in poverty and ensure that we don’t return to the days of the 75p rise to the state pension.”
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Top twenty constituencies with the highest number of people receiving a state pension.
|Constituency||State pensions||As % of population|
|Isle of Wight||38,158||26.9%|
|Bexhill and Battle||30,043||28.1%|
|Louth and Horncastle||29,605||29.4%|
|Sleaford and North Hykeham||27,828||23.3%|
|Torridge and West Devon||27,578||27.0%|
|Tiverton and Honiton||27,533||26.4%|
|Bridgwater and West Somerset||27,293||23.8%|
|Arundel and South Downs||26,913||26.3%|
|Folkestone and Hythe||26,791||22.6%|
|Somerton and Frome||26,630||24.5%|
The Amendment tabled by the Liberal Democrats in Parliament:
That this House, while recognising the extraordinary circumstances of the covid-19 pandemic, declines to give a Second Reading to the Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill because it represents a broken manifesto commitment made by the Government at the last General Election, fails to address the impact of the pandemic on the two million pensioners living in poverty and fails to increase key benefits, such as making permanent the uplift to Universal Credit.