Home Business Pension triple lock warning as Rishi Sunak 'could break manifesto pledge'

Pension triple lock warning as Rishi Sunak 'could break manifesto pledge'

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Mr Sunak presented his economic blueprint in the House of Commons yesterday as he aims to drive the UK’s economic recovery. The country’s public sector debt has exceeded £2.1trillion and the Government’s COVID-19 bill has surpassed £400billion. Mr Sunak announced a tax hike on corporations yesterday – softening this with the additional sweetener of £25billion in investment incentives for businesses. The point people begin paying income tax will increase by £70 to £12,570 in April as a result of Mr Sunak’s changes, which will stay at that level until April 2026.

This will result in more people being expected to pay tax as wages increase, including an estimated 1.3 million low earners.

Pension lifetime allowance has also been frozen at the current limit of £1,073,100 until 2024, capping how much savers can put in without accruing tax bills.

It was due to rise by 0.5 percent in the new tax year and would have been some £76,000 higher by 2025 before the freeze, based on the Office for Budget Responsibility’s inflation forecasts.

Aegon Pensions Director Steven Cameron tells Express.co.uk that Mr Sunak could break a Conservative Party manifesto pledge in the future, with the pensions triple lock possibly in the firing line.

He said: “We are anticipating another Budget before the year ends, maybe in November.

“Sunak did say yesterday that it is too early to make detailed fiscal policy announcements. We still don’t know the full costs of furlough and other support schemes. We still don’t know the full impact on the economy.

“I do expect he will be making further changes which could be of a detailed and wide-ranging nature. We shouldn’t’ assume that because he didn’t announce things yesterday, he won’t be thinking about them as longer term measures.

“We have got a manifesto commitment on the pension triple lock and tax triple lock, with all of these locks he’s got more locks than Houdini to grapple with.

“At some point, the Government might decide we have to be open with the public and say, ‘If we stick with these manifesto commitment we will have too many restrictions to do what is right to do.’

“He’s not done it so far, but in future there may come a time when he has to level with the public.”

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Experts have also warned that Mr Sunak’s policy changes will hit the highest earners.

Elsewhere, the Chancellor said the minimum wage would increase to £8.91 an hour from April, while the Government is to double the incentive payments given to businesses to £3,000 for all new hires, of any age.

He also announced that the Self-Employment-Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will become more accessible.

People can now apply for a grant with a 2019/20 tax return, which will be included in SEISS 4, and the Chancellor confirmed there will be a fifth grant.

However, Director of Policy at The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), Andy Chamberlain, told Express.co.uk that over a million people will still be excluded.

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He said that while the changes to SEISS announced are positive, more still needs to be done.

Mr Chamberlain said: “There’s quite a lot of positives, but also a lot of omissions.

“We are very pleased to hear that the so-called newly self-employed will finally be allowed into the scheme and make use of the next two grants.

“However, it remains the case that there are well over a million self-employed people who remain without support and have never had adequate support since the start of the pandemic.

“One particular group are limited company directors – they remain excluded from SEISS, so we are disappointed that we didn’t hear what more could be done for them in this Budget.”



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