Cabinet minister Therese Coffey drops biggest hint yet pensions triple lock WILL be ditched

A CABINET minister today dropped the biggest hint yet that the pensions triple lock will be ditched.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey admitted the government is “looking at” ripping up the manifesto commitment amid warnings the bill will balloon by £3 billion this year alone.

Her comments come as senior ministers privately tapping up Tory MPs to work out how much opposition there would be with tearing up the pensions policy.

Quizzed on the plan, Ms Coffey said: “We'll be looking at what is happening with earnings and that'll guide us on what happens on the pensions rise given to pensioners next year.

"I know we need to be driven by the data."

Senior ministers have been quietly sounding out Tory backbenchers over ditching the manifesto commitment for the past week or so.

Currently pensions go up in line with average wages, inflation or 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest.

Using this triple lock means pensions are set to rocket by a whopping 8 per cent – or £3bn – next year.

This is because millions of workers were laid off or saw their pay slashed last year, but salaries are now recovering – artificially sending the bill soaring.

One Tory approached over the looming change told The Sun: “I told them my voters would be furious – but we can’t afford it. So we should go ahead and do it.”

Both Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi  Sunak have hinted that the triple lock will be ditched.

Speaking earlier this month, the PM said: “We have got to have fairness for pensioners and for taxpayers.”

While Mr Sunak has said he recognises “people’s concerns” over the soaring bill and said Britain must have a “fair” system.

One option up for consideration by ministers is tweaking the triple lock this year so wages are measured over a two-year average, rather than a single year.

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This will deflate the price without actually tearing up the link to earnings.
Ministers would not have to change the law to make this adjustment.

Downing Street is expected to make a final decision on the triple lock later in the year after they get the final data on what average earnings are in August.

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