'This Is Desperate': Sally Nugent Clashes With Mel Stride Over Tory Pensions Plan

Sally Nugent grilled Mel Stride on BBC Breakfast.
Sally Nugent grilled Mel Stride on BBC Breakfast. BBC

BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent clashed with a Tory minister over the party’s latest “desperate” election pledge.

The Conservatives have unveiled plans to stop the basic state pension from being taxed as they targeted the grey vote.

It comes less than two weeks after Loose Women presenter Janet Street-Porter asked Rishi Sunak why he “hates pensioners”.

At the moment, the state pension increases every year by either average earnings, the rate of inflation or 2.5% - known as the “triple lock”.

Under the so-called “triple lock plus” the Tories are promising that the income tax threshold for pensioners will also increase by the highest of those three measurements.

The Tories say that will save eight million pensioners around £100 next year.

But on BBC Breakfast this morning, Nugent told work and pensions secretary Mel Stride: “Let’s start with that one word from Labour - this is desperate.”

She also pointed out that the only reason the state pension is being taxed at all is because the Tories froze tax thresholds in the first place.

“Your government introduced this tax change, the freezing of tax thresholds, that’s led us to this point,” she said. “That’s correct, isn’t it?”

Stride replied: “Yes indeed, and that’s because we went through a very difficult time, paying £400 billion to get us through the Covid challenge, and also the high inflation that came because of the war between Ukraine and Russia.”

She also pointed out that last year, Stride said the existing triple lock was “unsustainable in the long-term”.

She added: “What you’re talking about this morning is an expansion of it. So what’s changed for you personally.”

Stride replied: “The question I was asked at that time was the longer term future of the triple lock and what I said was the very, very long term. To define it, I would say several parliaments.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney said: “The sheer hypocrisy of the Conservatives to claim they are on the side of pensioners is laughable at best and dishonest at worst.

“Our nation’s pensioners have been clobbered by stealth taxes and failed on social care - these promises are empty.”