SNP Cllrs Condemn Tory Broken Pension Promise

“Yet again the Tories break a manifesto promise – adding to the litany of lies we get from the Prime Minister and his cabinet”, said Cllr Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest) commenting on the decision of the UK Tory Government to scrap the Pension Triple Lock despite it being one of their manifesto promises.

Despite making a manifesto promise to maintain the Pensions Triple Lock – which guarantees that pensions grow in line with whichever is the highest out
of earnings, inflation or 2.5% – the UK Tory Government has decided to cancel the triple lock. They claim that inflation is too high but that would mean that pensions would keep in line with rising prices, but that’s too much for a Tory Government which is too busy lining the pockets of their supporters to be bothered with the problems pensioners face.

Analysis from the House of Commons Library (see notes) concluded that the UK state pension was the lowest as a proportion of pre-retirement wages in comparison to all of our northwest European neighbours. While UK pensioners receive just 28% of the average working wage when they retire – in contrast, pensioners in Luxembourg and Austria receive 90% of the average working wage.

In addition, pensions in independent countries similar to or smaller than Scotland receive a much higher proportion of the average working wage (64%) than UK pensioners (28%) and more than the average of countries in northwest Europe (62%).

Cllr Kenny MacLaren added:

“It is well documented that the UK has the lowest state pension of any country in north west Europe, and UK pensioner poverty is on the rise after a decade of Tory austerity cuts.

“And now, to add insult to injury, we have Tory ministers considering cutting the increased payments that millions of Scottish and UK pensioners are due which will make pensioner poverty even worse.

“That is why independence for Scotland is so important. With independence, we can create a fairer, more progressive pension system whereby we guarantee that all those living in Scotland, regardless of gender, would receive a pension at the age of 65 or younger.

Cllr Mags MacLaren said:

“The UK government’s own Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics show that UK pensioner poverty levels are on the rise, with 2.1million pensioners (18%) living in poverty after housing costs – an increase of 200,000 on 2018/19, and a 15 year high.

“The Tory government has no intention of building a fair recovery from the pandemic. The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to protect and improve pensioner incomes.”

‘Households below average income (HBAI) statistics’ ––2