Gordon Brown joins pensions triple lock fight as 260,000 back our crusade

Gordon Brown urged the government not to ditch the triple lock “midstream” as our crusade to protect it reached 260,000 backers.

The former prime minister insisted it would not “make sense” to scrap the system older people rely on for a decent rise now.

Our petition with Silver Voices calling on the government to leave the formula untouched when it calculates the next state pension rise is going from strength to strength.

Rishi Sunak has been advised that dropping the triple lock from the election manifesto would be “political suicide”.

But the Prime Minister is yet to confirm if he will meet the pledge in full by giving pensioners the 8.5 percent rise in April they are due under the current system.

READ MORE State pension increases ‘should be linked to MPs pay if triple lock scrapped’

Mr Brown insisted he is not proposing an end to the triple lock but suggested the pension system will need to be looked at longer term.

He said: “I think we’ve got a look at what are the best arrangements for pensions in the longer term. I don’t think it makes sense to scrap something just in midstream. 

“And I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. But we had a commission on pensions in 2008. You’ve got to review some of the decisions about the future of pensions. 

“But I’m not proposing an end of something that is accepted by pensioners as a means by which their standard of living is kept up. The problem is that children and families are really suffering very hard. They’ve got no triple lock. 

“Child Benefit is not rising even in line with inflation. And the rising amount of child poverty in our country four million, possibly rising to five million children, who are going to school ill clad and hungry or the families are having to choose between eating and heating. This is a national scandal that’s got to be addressed by one of the parties.”

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Ministers are still deciding whether to use the triple lock formula in full this year or change it to save the government hundreds of millions of pounds.

Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, said: “The depth of support for the Silver Voices/Daily Express petition in defence of the triple lock has far exceeded expectations, storming through the quarter million barrier in less than two weeks. 

“It looks like the strategic voices in the Conservatives recognise that they are on hiding to nothing if the Government seeks to water down the triple lock formula, but until a definitive announcement is made we have to keep on pushing. 

“We hope that the relevant minister, or even the Prime Minister himself, is saving the announcement that the full triple lock increase will be paid next April for their speech at the Tory Party Conference in the next week. That would certainly be a big boost for struggling pensioners worried about the winter ahead. “

Sign the petition at https://www.change.org/stick-with-the-triple-lock

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