The Liberal Democrats have published figures showing that 9,293 state pensioners in Orkney and Shetland (representing 22.9% of the local population) are set to be impacted by the government breaking its manifesto promise and suspending the triple lock on pensions. The state pension triple lock is a rule that means the state pension must rise each year in line with the highest of three possible figures, inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.
The news comes just weeks after Boris Johnson led his Conservative MPs to vote for a manifesto-breaking tax hike on National Insurance.
The figures, based on analysis via the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, also show that 918 pensioners in the isles are benefiting from state pension credit, which is given to the poorest pensioners.
The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment in Parliament to the Social Security Bill that called for additional support to address the impact of the pandemic on the two million pensioners currently living in poverty and making the uplift to Universal Credit permanent.
Commenting, Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael said:
“This broken promise from the Government will hit pensioners in the isles hard – particularly those who are in poverty or fuel poverty. The government is turning its back on elderly people who risk no longer being able to heat their homes this winter as energy and other living costs rise.
“The triple lock was brought in by the Liberal Democrats in government as a cast iron guarantee that vulnerable elderly people – especially those without significant private pensions – could rely on. The Conservatives have failed them.”