THE Tory government has been warned not to betray UK pensioners as the Chancellor signalled the pension triple lock could be changed, breaking another manifesto pledge.

Rishi Sunak today refused to rule out that the triple lock could be altered due to concerns that the state pension may rise because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted a rise of up to 8% from April next year, which could cost an extra £3 billion in government spending.

The triple lock guarantees that the state pension increases in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5% – whichever is higher. 

READ MORE: Boris Johnson told to preserve pensions triple lock as Treasury plots changes

The Tory manifesto for the 2019 General Election pledged to maintain the triple lock, but the Chancellor and Prime Minister have both signalled that there could be alterations.

Sunak told BBC Breakfast that it is still currently the UK Government's policy but that he recognises "concerns".

He added: “I think they are completely legitimate and fair concerns to raise.

“We want to make sure the decisions we make and the systems we have are fair, both for pensioners and for taxpayers.”

Boris Johnson later echoed Sunak's words, telling reporters: “I think we have got to have fairness for pensioners and the taxpayers.”

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The SNP's work and pensions spokesperson at Westminster David Linden MP (above) has warned the Tories against further cuts to the state pension.

He said: "The Chancellor's comments that the triple lock on pensions could be scrapped is deeply worrying and will mark yet another broken Tory manifesto pledge.

"The grim reality is that after a decade of Tory austerity cuts, millions of older people are now living in poverty and the UK has one of the worst state pensions in the developed world.

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"Recent research has already revealed that the UK is falling behind our European neighbours - with UK pensions the least generous of every country in North West Europe in comparison to the average wage.

"With each day that passes it's becoming clearer that the Tory government has absolutely no intention of looking to secure a proper recovery from the health crisis and protecting people's incomes.

"Scotland is vulnerable under Westminster control. It's beyond doubt that independence is the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts, and to protect and boost the incomes of pensioners.

"Only with the full powers of independence will we be able to secure a fair recovery from the pandemic and build a more equal society."

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Unusually strong recent rises in earnings as a result of the pandemic mean the pension payout is expected to increase sharply.

There has been artificially high earnings growth when compared with figures from a year ago when many workers were furloughed. Many jobs lost have also been lower-paid roles.