Triple lock is ‘unsustainable’ – Hague calls to axe formula over 5 years
William Hague called for the triple lock to be ditched within five years to ease the pressure on public finances.
The peer, who is a close confidant of Rishi Sunak, said the guarantee is “ultimately unsustainable”.
He warned the issue of “fairness” between generations is “only intensifying” and suggested pensioners should be told the formula will be dropped in three to five years time.
Writing in his regular Times column, Lord Hague said: “Older people will, not surprisingly, fight their corner pretty robustly. And what is more, they vote.
“It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I suggest what to do about the “triple lock”, an issue understandably treated by serving politicians as akin to a very fierce sleeping dog that hates anyone to tread on its paws. They tiptoe around it, with “no plans” to touch those paws.”
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Mr Sunak, who succeeded the peer in his Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire, has refused to commit to including the triple lock in his general election manifesto. Labour also dodged making the pledge to pensioners.
Deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “We will have to see where we are when we get to a general election and we see the finances.”
Labour questioned whether former Treasury adviser Rupert Harrison, who has been selected as a Conservative election candidate, is acting as an “outrider” for the government after he said it was time for an “independent review” of the triple lock.
In a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, shadow Treasury minister Darren Jones wrote: “You were elected on a promise to maintain the triple lock.
“After you broke another promise and voted for National Insurance increases, pensioners will understandably be deeply concerned about any changes and anxious that their incomes may be under threat from this government.”
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