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Coronavirus: Islington Pensioners Forum blasts ‘outrageous’ proposal to axe triple lock

PUBLISHED: 11:23 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:34 14 May 2020

Islington Pensioners Forum social care meeting 25/4/17. Secretary Dot Gibson

Islington Pensioners Forum social care meeting 25/4/17. Secretary Dot Gibson

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Campaigners say it be would an “outrageous” betrayal if the government scraps the triple lock on state pensions.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October. Picture: House of CommonsChancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October. Picture: House of Commons

Islington Pensioners Forum (IPF) will fight any move to end the triple lock, which sees the state pension increase every year by the higher of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%.

The Daily Telegraph claims it’s seen a treasury document advising Chancellor Rishi Sunak the coronavirus crisis could cause a £337billion deficit this financial year – in the “best case scenario”.

The document allegedly sets out a “policy package” of proposed tax hikes and spending cuts, including axing the triple lock, as ways of clawing back some cash.

The government hasn’t commented on the story, but on Wednesday Mr Sunak said: “It is now very likely that the UK economy will face a significant recession this year, and we’re already in the middle of that as we speak.”

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IPF secretary Dot Gibson told the Gazette: “As usual it sets one set of people in society against another. So younger people with families, people in their lower middle-age, the government is now saying to them: ‘We have to take a choice. We have to take away the rights of older people in order to pay the younger people because the older people are doing very well, thank you’.

“It’s absolutely untrue because the state pension is low compared with other countries, [thousands of] people a year are losing their homes in order to pay for care, the care is totally inadequate.

“And, of course, the attack on pensions is an easy option for them to renew the divide and rule between old and young. It’s absolutely outrageous because we’ve got children, we’ve got grandchildren and we try and help them in the best way they can and they help us. And it shouldn’t be a question of divide and rule, so we’ll fight against that.”

Islington ranks joint fourth with Manchester for the scale of hardship affecting people aged 60 and over in England, according to the government’s English Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

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