Two Renfrewshire councillors have condemned the UK Governments decision to suspend the pension ‘triple lock’, the formula which determines annual state pension increases.

The UK Government, earlier this month, confirmed a one-year suspension of the ‘triple lock’.

The state pension is supposed to increase each year in line with whichever of the following three things is highest: inflation, average wage increase or 2.5 percent but during the Covid pandemic people were earning less than usual. This was because a large amount of people were placed on furlough.

And for that reason, the UK Government has suspended this system, for a year.

However, SNP Cllrs Kenny and Mags MacLaren claim the UK Government has broken a manifesto promise to maintain the Pensions Triple Lock.

Kenny MacLaren, councillor for Paisley Northwest, said: “Yet again the Tories break a manifesto promise – adding to the litany of lies we get from the Prime Minister and his cabinet.

“It is well documented that the UK has the lowest state pension of any country in north west Europe, and UK pensioner poverty is on the rise after a decade of Tory austerity cuts.

“And now, to add insult to injury, we have Tory ministers considering cutting the increased payments that millions of Scottish and UK pensioners are due which will make pensioner poverty even worse.

“That is why independence for Scotland is so important. With independence, we can create a fairer, more progressive pension system whereby we guarantee that all those living in Scotland, regardless of gender, would receive a pension at the age of 65 or younger.”

Mags MacLaren, who is also a councillor for Paisley Northwest, added: “The UK government’s own Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics show that UK pensioner poverty levels are on the rise, with 2.1million pensioners (18%) living in poverty after housing costs – an increase of 200,000 on 2018/19, and a 15 year high.

“The Tory government has no intention of building a fair recovery from the pandemic. The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to protect and improve pensioner incomes.”

Main Photo: Cllr Mags and Kenny MacLaren (photo from 2012)