The UK economy is currently staring down the barrel of a £300billion deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to forecasts made by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). According to leaked Treasury documents, officials are reportedly considering scrapping pensioners’ triple-lock along with an increase in income tax to fill the financial void.
The triple-lock guarantees the state basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5 percent, the rate of inflation or average earnings.
A poll of more than 7,000 Experss.co.uk readers has found the overwhelming majority do no support axing the pension lock.
The survey conducted on Friday May 15 between 2.45pm and 9.30pm, asked 7,897 readers “Do you support scrapping the triple-lock to fund COVID-19 bailout?”
A huge 85 percent (6,661) did not support the idea and voted no.
Just 14 percent (1,123) were in favour of the proposal and voted yes.
Meanwhile just one percent (113) of participants remained unsure and voted don’t know.
A number of readers let their feelings known in the Express.co.uk comments sections.
One user said: “Absolutely not, why punish pensioners, those in work need to pay not those who are on a limited income.”
A second reader said: “Leave the pensioners alone.”
Meanwhile a third wrote: “This would be hugely unpopular and work against the government.”
The triple-lock was first introduced by David Cameron’s Conservative Government in 2011 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a 2019 manifesto pledge to keep it in place.
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She said: “The triple lock seems to be sacrosanct but nobody has really justified 2.5 percent.
“Of course we have to protect pensioners’ income but for me, that means we need a double lock that increases the state pension in line with earnings or price inflation.”
The Chancellor was rocked this week after figures for the first financial quarter of the year released on Wednesday revealed the UK economy shrank by two percent in the first three months of 2020.
The UK only began the lockdown in the middle of March and the figures revealed the UK’s GDP fell by 5.8 percent in that month – the biggest monthly fall on record.
The OBR has since predicted GDP will fall by as much as 35 percent in the second financial quarter from April to June.
Following the release on the damning numbers, Mr Sunak conceded it is “very likely” that the UK will face a “significant recession”.
He said: “A recession is defined technically as two quarters of decline in GDP.
“We’ve seen one here with only a few days of impact from the virus, so it is now very likely that the UK economy will face a significant recession this year and we are in the middle of that as we speak.”