Rishi Sunak leaves own top team in the dark on triple lock plans

Nick Ferrari grills Grant Shapps on triple lock

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Grant Shapps has admitted he is in the dark over Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt’s plans for the state pension triple lock. The Business Secretary today insisted he was not being “tricksy” but said he did not know “what we’ll say on that area” ahead of the autumn budget next week.


Mr Shapps made the comments this morning as he was pressed on whether he believes the triple lock – a Tory 2019 manifesto commitment – is a matter of principle for the party which relies on the grey vote. 

The Business Secretary said that “it’s very important that we look after pensioners” as the Government prepares its highly-anticipated autumn statement on November 17.

Asked if the pensions guarantee is a “matter of Tory principle”, he told LBC: “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor and myself, when it comes to things like the energy packages, have been working very closely on this package of measures which will come out in the autumn statement, which is on … November 17. So, not very long to wait.”

Pressed on whether he agrees it is a matter of principle, the Business Secretary said: “I agree it is very important that we look after pensioners – I do agree with that.

“I also think that everybody understands the situation that we’re in and the Chancellor will come forward with that complete package.

“So, I don’t want to pre-empt his package. And just so you don’t think I’m being tricksy on this, I don’t know what we’ll say on that area. You’ll have to wait and see.”

It comes as the Daily Express is campaigning to protect the triple lock, which sees state pensions uprated by the highest out of 2.5 percent, wages and inflation.

Millions of pensioners have been left in limbo as the PM has refused to commit to the policy since entering No 10.

A petition started by this newspaper and Silver Voices, which campaigns for over 60s, is approaching 300,000 signatures.

Exclusive polling by Techne found 58 percent say Mr Sunak should go ahead with the triple lock.

In the poll of 1,629 British adults, carried out from November 2-3, some 28 percent said no and 14 percent did not know.

Around 12.5 million people who receive the state pension are set for a bumper 10 percent increase if the policy goes ahead next April.

But they face a real-terms cut in earnings if their payments do not rise in line with soaring inflation.

The policy was suspended last year due to the Covid pandemic distorting wage growth, meaning pensioners received a 3.1 percent increase.

It comes as Mr Sunak and Mr Hunt are looking to plug a huge black hole in the public finances.

Last month, Mr Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss U-turned on axing the commitment after a furious backlash at suggestions it could be dropped.

But question marks are hanging over the policy once again since the former Chancellor took over in the top job.

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