Liz Truss has hinted she could raise the retirement age for millions of Britons, warning “a decision yet to be made”. The state pension currently kicks in at 66 but is due to rise to 67 in 2028 and up to 68 in 2044.
However, the Government has been looking at recommendations in an independent review to bring forward the increase to 2037.
Ministers are looking at ways to help balance the books following the Government’s £105billion borrowing spree to pay for the latest energy package and tax cuts.
Asked this morning, the Prime Minister refused to rule out raising the pension age to help cover the cost.
She told Sky News: “You’re asking me to speculate about all kinds of decisions that haven’t yet been made.
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“What’s first of all important is that we dealt with the energy prices people were facing.
“We’ve helped to curb inflation through that intervention, we’ve reduced taxes to get the economy growing, we’re going to be doing economic reforms in areas like moving faster with building projects, moving faster with transport projects to get the economy going.
“And that is what we need to do because we are facing a very difficult international situation, a slowing global economy, so yes I will do what it takes to fix those issues.”
Ms Truss this morning stressed she must take a “responsible” approach to the public finances following her plan for growth.
She has refused to rule out a real-terms cuts to benefits, but has pledged to continue honouring the state pension triple lock for those already retired.
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“When people are on a fixed income, when they are pensioners, it is quite hard to adjust.
“I think it’s a different situation for people who are in the position to be able to work,” she told LBC radio.
“What I want to do is make sure that we are helping more people into work.”
The Conservatives committed in its 2019 manifesto to increasing state pensions each year by the highest out of inflation, average wages, or 2.5 percent.
However, the triple lock was suspended last year after average wages, caused by the end of the Covid furlough scheme, rose by almost 10 percent.
Instead the elderly received a 3.1 percent increase.
Speaking last week ahead of the party conference, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng pledged to sticking with the triple lock.
He said: “The PM has been absolutely committed to the triple lock and we are absolutely committed to maintaining it.”