Since 2010, pensioners have become, on average, richer than workers
CPI, rather than triple lock, would have saved enough to lower income tax rates
The Lib Dem triple-lock protected pensioners from welfare cuts that fell on workers
Since 2010, pensioners have become, on average, richer than the working age population. Welfare spending on pensioners is up by 10% in real terms, but down by around 5% for people of working age and children.
The triple lock on state pensions has been costly. Had the state pension been uprated in line with CPI inflation the Treasury would now be £8.6bn a year better off.
The opportunity cost is large. This sum could have paid for a cut of 2 percentage points in the basic rate of income tax or increased spending in areas of greater need.
The Liberal Democrats insisted on implementing the policy, which is partly responsible for the rise in support for Labour from those in their 30s & 40s.
Conservatives have now dropped their commitment to move to a double lock, which is a missed opportunity to promote intergenerational fairness.
At the very minimum, the 2.5% guarantee in the triple lock should fall to 1.5% to protect the Treasury from an environment where inflation and earnings hover around 2%.
Daniel joined the Centre for Policy Studies as Head of Economic Research in November 2015. He was promoted to Deputy Director in March 2017. Prior to joining the CPS, he worked in research roles for a number of parliamentarians. Daniel left the CPS in March 2018.