In the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the 2017 General Election, Theresa May refused to guarantee the “triple lock” policy that guarantees pensions will rise in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest.
The triple lock was put in place to right the wrongs of underinvestment in the state pension by a series of governments in the 80s and 90s which saw its worth plummet to unprecedented low levels. In the 2000s under Labour it was worth only around a fifth of average earnings (remember the 75p rise).
The triple lock has managed to claw this figure back to where we were in the early 1970s but now it is under attack again; this time by the Tories.
The Tory approach to pensions is brutal. The draconian changes to the pension age are highlighted by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) who say they have left many women “with insufficient funds to meet their existing financial commitments”.
It is clear, therefore, under the Tories and even under Labour the state pension will always be under threat in the UK.
Scotland can take its own approach; one that respects the effort and achievements of our pensioners in a fair and decent way. The only way that this can happen is to vote SNP at the General Election.
This, and for many other reasons, is why I will be voting for Miriam Brett.