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Liz Truss has issued a fresh hint she is prepared to axe the state pension triple lock to slash public spending.
The mechanism – which ensures pensions increase by 2.5 percent, average wages or inflation – was a Conservative party manifesto commitment in the 2019 election.
It was suspended for the 2022-23 financial year in light of the Covid pandemic but Ms Truss vowed during the Tory leadership campaign to reinstate the policy.
However, speaking today the Prime Minister’s official spokesman warned that the triple lock could not be guaranteed and was up for review.
He said: “We are very aware of how many vulnerable pensioners thee are and indeed our priority ahead of this fiscal plan is we continue to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are not making any commitments on individual policy areas at this point, but as I say the decisions will be made through the prism of what matters most to the most vulnerable.”
Failure to keep the triple lock would mean 12.3million would be hit with a real-terms cut next April.
Pensioners were due to receive a 10 percent rise in the state pension, increasing the weekly payment from £185.15 to just over £200.
The No10 official added: “We are in difficult circumstances.
“And we’ve acknowledged the reasons for why we are in this position both in terms of domestic decisions and international factors.
“And the Chancellor and the Prime Minister are of the view that it’s right to consider all options as a whole, rather than going through individual policies piece by piece.”
The refusal to stand by the pledge came after Ms Truss told her Cabinet this morning that “times will be tough” as she warned Government departments would need to find ways to scale back public spending.
Jeremy Hunt has warned £30billion of cuts will be necessary in order to balance the books following the economic fallout after the mini-budget.
Yesterday the Chancellor also warned “almost all” the tax cuts announced by his predecessor last month would be ditched.
More to follow…
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