The Welsh Liberal Democrats have published figures showing that Powys is set to be hit hard by the Government’s decision to break its manifesto promise and suspend the triple lock on pensions after Conservative MPs voted to approve the change.
Fay Jones’ seat of Brecon and Radnorshire is set to be the 11th hardest-hit area in the UK and the hardest hit in Wales with 18,792 people or 27.2 per cent of the constituency consisting of state pensioners. Fay Jones did not register a vote on the changes meaning she either abstained or didn’t turn up to vote on the issue.
Meanwhile, Craig Williams, now a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, will see 15,499 or 24.5 per cent of his constituents affected, making Montgomeryshire the 6th hardest-hit area in Wales. Craig Williams voted for the suspension of the triple lock.
The figures are based on analysis by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the Social Security Bill that called for additional support to address the impact of the pandemic on the two million pensioners currently living in poverty and making the uplift to Universal Credit permanent. Craig Williams voted against the amendment, while Fay Jones registered no vote.
Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales MS, Jane Dodds stated: “The Welsh Conservatives have broken yet another manifesto promise that will hit people in the pocket.
“With so many pensioners living in poverty, the triple lock was a guarantee that vulnerable elderly people were relying on. Yet this winter the Government will instead turn its back on the poorest pensioners, some of whom risk no longer being able to heat their homes as energy costs spiral.
“The Conservatives claim that suspending the triple lock is just a temporary move, but how can pensioners have any faith that this is the one promise ministers will keep?
“I and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to demand that the Government doesn’t leave pensioners living in poverty high and dry and that we don’t return to the days of the derisory 75p rise to the state pension.”