Triple lock should only be for pensioners who really need it, Lord Digby Jones says

Lord Digby Jones says the Government should have introduced means testing for pensions when it confirmed the triple lock will stay.

Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham
Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham

It was confirmed in the autumn statement that pensions would go up in line with the largest of three inflationary measures – meaning pensioners will get a rise of 10.1 per cent next year.

But former CBI boss Lord Jones of Birmingham questioned why means testing wasn't brought in to ensure the extra money only went to pensioners who really needed it.

He told GB News: "I don’t for the life of me understand why they don't bring in means testing for pensions.

"There will be an awful lot of people who are going to get a 10 per cent pay rise in their retirement pension, who frankly, of course, would like it, but do they need it?

"I'm not saying it shouldn't have happened, but I'm surprised given that desperate times call for desperate measures they didn't bring in a degree of means testing."

Lord Jones, who served as an independent trade minister in Gordon Brown's government, also slammed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's plans for economic growth.

He said there had to be a price to pay for all the money the Government spent during the pandemic, and added: "I defy any member of the Labour Party to give an alternative way of doing this.

"When they use words on a whim 'grow the economy', well, that's lovely to say but you try and do it in the middle of this worldwide recession."

The triple lock was brought in by the Tories in their 2019 manifesto and guarantees pensions rise each April in line with whichever is highest, 2.5 per cent, inflation or earnings.

Tory backbencher Sir Edward Leigh warned it would would "bankrupt the nation" after forecasts suggested the cost to the Treasury next year would top £10billion.

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