33,280 pensioners living in the three Lewisham constituencies will receive at least an extra £772 per year under Liberal Democrat manifesto plans to protect the ‘triple lock’ for state pensions.
Thanks to the triple lock guarantee, secured by the Liberal Democrats when they were in government, the basic state pension has risen in each year by whichever is the higher of earnings, prices or a rate of 2.5%. However, the Conservatives have refused to guarantee whether the triple lock will continue, raising fears it could be scrapped.
The Liberal Democrats have committed today to keeping the triple lock, meaning the state pension would be worth at least £137.15 a week by 2021, up from £122.30 in 2017, or an extra £772 a year.
This would be paid for in part by restricting perks such as the winter fuel allowance so they are no longer paid to the wealthiest pensioners.
Emily Frith, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Lewisham East, said:
“The Liberal Democrats helped to introduce the triple lock when we were in government – and now, unlike the Conservatives, we are committing to keep it.
“This would mean an extra £770 a year for each of the 33 thousand residents of Lewisham who are in receipt of the state pension.
“Not only do older people deserve this support, they also need it at a time when Brexit is threatening to raise prices and damage public services.”
John Russell, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, added:
“The triple lock has succeeded in lifting thousands of pensioners out of poverty, but many are still struggling to get by.
“The Lib Dems will not abandon them now. Our policies would protect the living standards of older people, and ensure that they can keep on meeting their basic needs.”
Bobby Dean, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Lewisham Deptford, said:
“An important test of a civilised society is the way in which it cares for the elderly. By retaining the triple lock, the Liberal Democrats want to make sure that Britain always passes that test.
“As you’d expect from a proper opposition, we are also honest. Our triple lock policy would be paid for, in part, by cutting winter fuel allowance for the wealthiest pensioners. The money must go to those who need it most.”