Professor Len Shackleton, labour market expert at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs commented on the return of the pension triple lock, which will see the state pension rise by 10 per cent in line with inflation.
“It is difficult to call for wage restraint among the working age population while pensioners receive a big increase.
“Pensioners have already been partially compensated for energy price hikes and so it is probably not appropriate to raise pensions by the full amount of the CPI rise as the triple lock formula would require.
“It may be difficult politically to renege on the triple lock again, but we should bear in mind that pensioners as a group are less likely to be in poverty than, say, families with young children. Support for struggling households could be better targeted than giving all pensioners, many of whom are relatively well-off, a big increase.
“If we are requiring some degree of pay restraint and trying to hold the line on other areas of government spending, political commitments given in happier times cannot be regarded as absolute.”