Keir Starmer vows to keep pensions triple lock throughout next parliament

Sir Keir Starmer has vowed to retain the pensions triple lock for at least five years if he enters Downing Street, in a pre-election pitch to older voters.

The Labour leader said pensioners “deserve certainty” as he guaranteed the triple lock would be “protected for the duration of the next parliament” under his premiership.

The triple lock refers to the commitment to raise the state pension every year in line with whichever is highest out of wage growth, inflation or 2.5%.

It has become a hallmark of successive Conservative governments since it was announced in 2010 but there has been a debate about its long-term future due the costs.

Rishi Sunak has also promised that the policy would remain in place throughout the next parliament if the Conservatives win the general election.

Sir Keir’s pledge signals his intention to woo older older voters and sustain Labour’s double-digit poll lead.

Polls show that the over-65s are the only demographic in which the Conservatives have a lead on Labour.

Writing in the Sunday Express, Sir Keir said: “Britain’s pensioners deserve better. They deserve certainty, and for politicians to be straight with them so they can plan their lives.

“That’s why I’m guaranteeing that the pensions triple lock will be in the Labour manifesto and protected for the duration of the next parliament.

“That guarantee will ensure pensioners can enjoy their golden years. Money to spend on the grandkids, on days out, on holidays – all the things that bring colour to our lives.

“It will also boost the pensions of working-age people as they look forward to their own retirements.”

In a message aimed at pensioners, the Labour leader added: “We will never play fast and loose with your finances. We will never leave you in limbo.”

From April 8, people receiving the state pension got an 8.5% increase worth an extra £900 a year to full-rate claimants under the triple lock commitment.

There have been concerns about the long-term affordability of the policy, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warning that an ageing population and high inflation coupled with the triple lock would push up pension spending by about 0.8% of gross domestic product by the 2027 to 2028 tax year.

But Sir Keir insisted the UK can cover the cost, saying: “I reject the arguments of those who say the triple lock needs to go because we can no longer afford to protect pensioners.”