ALMOST one million Scottish pensioners have been hit after the Tories paused “triple lock” pensions protections, according to House of Commons Library analysis.

The impartial information service provides research for MPs and staff. It says as many as 985,065 Scots pensioners have been directly affected by the UK Government’s decision to scrap the minimum guarantee that protected older-age incomes.

Introduced by the Con/Dem coalition in 2010, it ensured that pensions would increase annually with either the average wage increase, inflation or 2.5% – whichever was highest. The Conservative manifesto pledged that it would stay in place for the duration of this parliament. But in September, Johnson’s administration confirmed it will suspend the triple lock for one year.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey (below) told MPs this was down to an “irregular statistical spike in earnings” during the period during which the pension rate is set, something she said was related to Covid recovery and could have seen pensions rise by as much as 8%.

The National: Therese Coffey

According to the House of Commons Library, the decision will see older people lose out on £520 in 2022 and could add up to £2600 over the next five years if it continues.

David Linden MP, the SNP’s work and pensions spokesperson, said: “UK pensioners already have the least generous pensions in north west Europe – things are only getting worse.

“The current UK Government is consulting on bringing forward their planned increase to state pension age to 68 by seven years, impacting on anyone born before 1976. After a decade of Tory austerity, millions of pensioners across Scotland currently find themselves living in poverty, but we don’t need to settle for this. With the full powers of independence, we can protect Scotland’s pensioners.”