She said that pensioners should, “not be used as a cash machine” to pay for spending ahead of a vote in the House of Lords tomorrow.
Baroness Altmann called for advisers to support her stand against the Government’s plans to drop the triple lock earnings link for State Pensions.
There will be a debate and vote in the House of Lords tomorrow at which Baroness Altmann plans to oppose the scrapping of the triple lock earnings link.
Should she gain enough support, the House of Lords could stop the change to the legislation needed by the Government to carry out its plan.
Baroness Altmann said she believes the House of Commons was not given correct information when it voted on the legislation to remove the triple lock.
She said the 3.1% rise proposed for State Pensions next year is a real terms cut and a “betrayal of the Manifesto pledge”. She said the Government needs to “think again” because the 3.1% rise will not be enough to protect pensioners against rising living costs.
The Chancellor’s Budget speech last week included a prediction of 4% CPI inflation which is likely to rise further and higher than was previously predicted.
Baroness Altmann said: “The last few months have seen a significant change in expectations for next year, which means increasing State Pensions by just 3.1% is inadequate.”
Baroness Altmann said: “It is simply not correct that the Government had no alternative to an 8%+ rise. It has insisted that it would have had to use the precise figure reported by the ONS for Average Weekly Earnings, because this is the statistic it has always used for last few years. However, it would be perfectly in order to adjust this figure (which was over 8%) to take account of any upward bias caused by the exceptional effects of the pandemic on the labour market and the furlough scheme last year.
“The law already allows the Government to adjust the ONS figure of over 8% to a lower number. MPs were led to believe this was not possible.
“The Bill to abandon the triple lock will be debated on Tuesday in the Lords and I am determined to try to ask Peers to support amendments that would keep the triple lock, ensure that the Secretary of State can adjust for any upward distortions on earnings from the pandemic and protects pensioners, particularly the poorest, as they were promised in 2019. I believe millions of pensioners deserve better treatment. It’s time for Parliament to stand up and protect good citizens. What are we there for if not to try to stop dangerous policies that are based on false information.”
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