MSP condemns the ‘betrayal’ of UK pensioners

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame has condemned the UK Government’s announcement it will break its manifesto commitment and scrap the triple lock on pensions.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 1:57 pm
Christine Grahame MSP

The UK already has the lowest state pension - as a proportion of pre-retirement wages - of all of our European neighbours.

House of Commons Library research revealed that UK pensioners receive around a quarter (28 per cent) of the average working wage when they retire.

In contrast, pensioners in Luxembourg and Austria receive 90 per cent of the average working wage.

The data also shows pensioners in countries of Scotland's size or smaller receive a much higher proportion of the average working wage (64 per cent).

This year, UK pensioner poverty levels rose to a 15 year high - with 2.1m UK pensioners (18 per cent) now living in poverty after housing costs, an increase of 200,000 on 2018/19.

The UK Government’s announcement follows its previous moves to cut pension credit, increase the state pension age for women born in the 1950s, introduce TV license fees for over 75s and freeze British state pensions overseas.

Ms Grahame: “By scrapping the triple lock on pensions, this Tory government has broken yet another manifesto commitment.

"A decade of Tory austerity cuts, coupled with one of the worst state pensions in the developed world, means that millions of our older people are already living in poverty.

"Scrapping the triple lock is yet another blow for pensioners from the UK Government.

“Pensioner poverty is already at a 15-year high under Boris Johnson’s watch, and will only be exacerbated by this betrayal. Tory ministers should be ashamed.

"With each day that passes it's becoming clearer that the Tory government has absolutely no intention of looking to protect our older people and secure a real recovery from the pandemic.

"The data shows pensioners in countries of Scotland's size or smaller receive a much higher proportion of the average working wage.

"We need the full powers of independence as the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts.”