Gagan Mohindra – 2022 Speech on the State Pension Triple Lock

The speech made by Gagan Mohindra, the Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire, in the House of Commons on 8 November 2022.

It is an honour to follow the right hon. Member for East Ham (Sir Stephen Timms). I was brought up in the area that he represents, and I have fond memories of his part of the world. Let me also welcome the Secretary of State to his place, and, indeed, welcome the whole new Front Bench.

As we all know, our country finds itself in an incredibly difficult economic position, and I look forward to the Chancellor’s fiscal event next week. My hon. Friend the Member for Guildford (Angela Richardson), in an intervention earlier, made an important point about why the slight delay was required, namely to ensure that we have the OBR figures that Members in all parts of the House have requested during previous debates on our finances.

My party has a strong record of supporting older people, and I hope that that record will continue: we need it to do so now more than ever. One of the highlights of our Government over the last 12 years has been auto-enrolment for employees in small companies, which means that 88% of eligible employees now have savings pots that they would not have necessarily been encouraged to have before. During the pandemic, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks)—now the Prime Minister—took the necessary steps to keep our economy afloat, but those decisions came at a cost. In the wake of that spending, coupled with the awful Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine, we now face a cost of living crisis. Sacrifices must be made. The Chancellor has some extremely difficult decisions to make, the results of which we will hear in nine days.

Given the cost of living crisis, and notably the hike in energy bills, it is more important than ever to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, and I am grateful to the Government for the work they are doing to support pensioners at this difficult time. As we enter the colder months, I am particularly proud of their commitment to help keep energy bills as low as possible and the additional support that is specific to pensioners, including the £300 winter fuel payment.

Like many of my colleagues, I have received countless items of correspondence from constituents pleading for the triple lock to be retained, and I trust that that decision will be made in nine days’ time. I hope that the Chancellor will continue the good work that he is already doing, and I look forward to our honouring the commitments that we have historically made in our manifesto. I agreed with the right hon. Member for East Ham when he said that when people have done the correct thing before, we should ensure that we protect them as much as possible. We should always seek to incentivise good and indeed best behaviour, and I hope that next week’s statement will demonstrate that that is being done.