Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has said that the dropping of the pensions “triple lock” by the Conservatives risks leaving pensioners in the cold after breaking a manifesto promise to protect the state pension.
In the wake of inflation hitting a thirty year high of 5.5% in January, a typical pensioner in Orkney and Shetland is set to see their income fall by £171.60 this year in real terms. This is a total loss of income of £ 1,594,679 between 9,293 pensioners in the Northern Isles due to the Conservative government’s decision to scrap the triple lock on pensions. The triple lock was a core Liberal Democrat policy brought in by the Coalition government.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to row back on their broken promise and guarantee a fairer increase to the state pension. The party is also calling for a doubling and expansion to the Warm Home Discount, giving households £300 each off their heating bills this year, alongside a doubling of the Winter Fuel Allowance.
Mr Carmichael said:
“These figures expose a black hole in the Government’s cost of living package for pensioners. In breaking their manifesto promise and failing to protect the state pension, the Conservatives risk pushing older people into a cost-of-living crisis.
“The pensions triple lock was a core Liberal Democrat policy that we brought into law – it speaks volumes that the Conservatives have taken the first opportunity to scrap it.
“It’s high time the Government showed some common sense and ensured a fair increase to the state pension but we also need to see more ambitious action for all families struggling with the cost of living and energy prices. Doubling the Warm Home Discount and Winter Fuel Allowance would be a good place to start so that we can mitigate the worst of the fuel poverty we see in the isles and elsewhere.”