No triple lock down
The right wing press, judging by the stories relayed through Microsoft’s news feed, are tearing themselves apart over whether the ‘triple lock’ on pensions will survive. It seems we’ll have to wait until a financial statement on the 17th November to find out if this rather expensive commitment is to be maintained. My guess is that it will be, since whenever the general election comes the key older demographic of Tory voters may be less likely to vote for Prime Minister Sunak if the triple lock is abolished or downgraded. The Labour opposition is of course seeking to put the government on the spot on this issue, but I very much doubt it will be a Labour manifesto commitment come the next election—there will be a mincing of words, or some evasion tactic. There will probably be a promise that sounds like the triple lock, but it will not be universally applied. We’ll only find out the details after the general election. It will be similar to Starmer’s party conference speech vaguely promising a nationally owned energy company, only later to discover what a limited commitment that actually was.
As I lay awake the other night (as one does) I was wondering if any occupant of No.10 had ever suggested, if not exactly promised, that things would get worse. No jam tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the day after that. The only person that comes to mind is Churchill, who I think made a virtue out of how bad things were going to be. But then we had a clear, identifiable enemy. Now, the enemy is in our midst. I’m not just referring to the likes of Shell, who have reported yet more record profits and handouts to shareholders. But as one article today (I think in the Independent) suggested, with Sunak in No.10 the City has finally, conclusively won control of the nation’s levers of power. His predecessors bowed to the City. Sunak is the City. And for as long as he accepts their leverage, there will be some slack given to him to dole out some electorally popular goodies. This is what in the short term may be described as ‘stability’ - but it will be a very short leash for which we’ll all have to pay later. So in the meantime the triple lock may briefly survive.
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