Pensions petition may force Commons debate

CALLS for the government to reverse changes to the way annual pension increases are calculated could be debated in the Commons after an online petition gained 100,000 signatures.

Since April, rises in the state and public sector pensions have been based on the CPI measure of inflation, instead of the normally faster-rising RPI.

Trade unions earlier this month lost a High Court legal challenge to the move, which is expected to save almost £6 billion a year by 2014.

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The government has said it is committed to a “triple lock” policy, which guarantees that state pensions will be increased each year by whichever is highest out of average earnings growth, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

Passing the 100,000-signature mark means the motion on the government’s official e-petitions website calling for a return to the RPI measure is now eligible for debate in the Commons.

The petition states: “This change, which has been introduced in most cases without any prior consultation, will mean a steady reduction in spending power for pensioners as they progress into their retirement.

“Given the promises that have previously been made, the RPI measure should be reintroduced without delay to ensure that the spending power of pensioners is maintained.”