Later Life Ambitions welcomes politicians of any party saying they will protect the triple-lock. This is why we are pleased to see the Labour Party state today that they will “protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple-Lock on state pensions up to 2025”.
The triple lock is vital because it ensures that pensioner income is not eroded by the gradual increase in the costs of living by guaranteeing to increase the state pension every year by the higher of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%.
A number of high-profile individuals, including former pensions ministers, have recently claimed that the triple-local can be scrapped because it has served its purpose of raising many pensioners out of poverty. We disagree.
The triple-lock was introduced to make up for the many years in which the value of the state pension was eroded, which had left many pensioners struggling to cope with the cost of living. Only now after several years of the triple-lock are many pensioners provided with the means to live financially secure lives as they get older, and this is why it must remain in place.
Removing the triple-lock would risk un-doing all this good work by the government. It may also cost the Treasury more money in the long run through rises in health and social care costs if pensioners are pushed further back into poverty. Later Life Ambitions is therefore campaigning for the triple-lock to be protected by the next government following the 2020 General Election, and we welcome the Labour Party making this pledge today.
We are also pleased to see the party pledge to “keep the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes for pensioners”. Many universal benefits have a positive impact on the UK economy as a whole, as well as local economies. For example, concessionary bus passes boost the local economy by enabling older people to access, and spend money in, town centres and other shopping areas.
These are positive policies for pensioners from Labour, and we will continue campaigning for other parties to make similar commitments.