Theresa May today twice refused to confirm whether the Tories would keep the “triple lock” on pensions if her party won the election.
During a marathon Prime Minister Questions this afternoon – which lasted almost double its scheduled 30 minutes – May was asked by the SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson to give a “clear and unambiguous” answer to her plans for the triple lock.
May could only respond by saying that under a Tory Government pensions and incomes would “continue to increase”.
The triple-lock was introduced by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government in 2010, and guarantees the state pension will increase every year by whichever is highest out of inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent.
There have been growing calls for the lock to be scrapped, and a cross-party committee of MPs last year said continuing with the policy was “unsustainable” and “unfair” on younger families.
Labour has vowed to maintain the lock, but the Tories have yet to give that commitment.
Addressing May from across the Commons chamber this afternoon, Robertson said: “Will the Prime Minister give a clear and unambiguous commitment to maintaining the triple-lock on the state pension?”
May replied: “I’ve been very clear that under this Conservative government we have seen pensioners benefit as a result of what we’ve done to the basic state pension to the tune of £1,250 a year.
“I am clear that under a Conservative government pensions and incomes would continue to increase.”
Robertson said the Prime Minister’s answer showed pensioners are “right to conclude” that the Tories will “ditch” the policy.
Getting back to her feet, May again refused to confirm whether the triple-lock would be protected.