Saturday, 31 July 2021
The promise not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has appeared in five of the seven Labour manifestos of my adult lifetime, before which Labour had last won a General Election before I had been born, and it has appeared in all 11 Conservative manifestos of my entire lifetime. Invariably elected on that commitment, not a single Government has ever been able to honour it. It is time to start treating voters like grownups.
Not much could lose the Conservatives the next General Election, but scrapping the triple lock, even if only for one year, might just manage it. Their best hope would be an enormous backbench rebellion to see off the suicidal scheme. Why should Britain not have a proper pension, like any comparable country? And so much for the EU, that we never got one in all the years that we were in the thing.
In the next Parliament or the one after that, no matter who was in government is going to introduce the Universal Basic Income. It will be called something else, but they are going to do it, because they are going to have to. During the pandemic, the principle has already been conceded. Only Keir Starmer is still holding out, and no one will remember him by then.
We need to make sure that when the inevitable arrived, then it could not replace the state retirement pension, along with everything else, unless it were protected by the triple lock. At least.