More than 50,000 people have signed the Express’s petition to protect the state pension triple lock less than a week after this newspaper launched the campaign. It comes as Rishi Sunak again refused to commit to the policy today as millions of pensioners are left in limbo and at risk of being left worse off amid the crippling cost of living crisis.
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The Express’s petition with Silver Voices, which campaigns for over 60s, passed the 50,000 milestone shortly after midday.
Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, said: “To top 50,000 signatures in just a few days shows how the British public is rallying behind our call for the triple lock to be protected.
“People of all ages recognise that fixed pensioner incomes are insufficient to pay for life’s essentials, with food and energy inflation surging.
“If the Government fails to honour its many promises to restore the triple lock and give older people a measure of certainty this winter, retribution will certainly follow at the ballot box.”
During Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Sunak kept the triple lock on the table as he looks to plug a huge black hole in the nation’s finances.
The policy, which was a pledge in the 2019 Tory manifesto, sees state pensions uprated in line with whichever is highest of 2.5 percent, wages and inflation.
The PM insisted that “fairness and compassion” will be at the heart of spending decisions in the upcoming autumn statement in response to a question from the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford singling out pensions and benefits.
Mr Blackford said: “In May of this year, the new Prime Minister told this chamber, and I quote, ‘I can reassure the House that next year’s benefits will be uprated by this September’s CPI and the triple lock will apply for the state pension’.
“But last week the Prime Minister repeatedly refused to say if he would keep to a promise that he made only five months ago.
“Prime Minister, people don’t need to hear any more spin about compassionate Conservatism, people just need a straight answer to a simple question: will he keep his promise and lift benefits and pensions in line with inflation?”
Mr Sunak insisted that it “would not be right to comment on individual policy measures” before the autumn statement.
He added: “I think everyone knows we do face a challenging economic outlook and difficult decisions will need to be made.
“What I would say is that we will always, as my track record as chancellor demonstrates, have fairness and compassion at the heart of everything we do.”
It comes as pensioners are set to receive a bumper 10 percent increase to their state pension if the triple lock goes ahead in April 2023.
Around 12.5 million people who receive the state pension could face a real-terms cut in earnings if their payments do not rise in line with soaring inflation.
The policy was suspended last year meaning pensioners received a 3.1 percent increase, less than they would have done under the triple lock.
Last month, Mr Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss U-turned on axing the commitment after a furious backlash at suggestions it could be dropped.
But doubt has once again been cast over whether the policy will be suspended for a second year running following Mr Sunak entering No 10.
The Daily Express launched the campaign to protect the triple lock on the front page of last Friday’s newspaper.
Sign the petition here.