Alliance with DUP could disrupt Tory pension policies.
Commitments made in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) manifesto are likely to put the party at odds with the Conservatives when it comes to pension policies.
The Conservative Party suffered a disappointing election result today, as it won just 318 seats, short of the 326 seats required to win a majority.
Despite facing heavy pressure over her own position, May secured support from DUP, which has allowed her to form a government as prime minister.
However the DUP’s manifesto has a number of pension policies which contradict those of the Conservatives.
For example the DUP manifesto states: ‘The DUP has always advocated for the interests of our older people.
‘We will continue our staunch support for pensioners in the new parliament. The DUP will support the maintenance of the pensions triple lock; and support an end to the unfair treatment of women pensioners.’
In a press release sent out last month the DUP’s deputy leader Nigel Dodds also attacked the Tories pensions policy.
‘In the DUP’s 2015 Westminster Manifesto we made clear our support for the pensions triple lock and for the current universal benefits of pensions. That remains our position and we have concerns about proposals with the Conservative manifesto.’
The release also said the DUP will ‘oppose plans to break the pensions triple lock and to means test present universal benefits for pensionsers’.
However in the Conservative manifesto, the Party did not pledge any commitment to the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign, and it called for the triple lock to be scrapped by 2020.
So with the Tories needing the support of the DUP to form a government, the Conservative pension plans could be thrown into jeopardy.
Tim Sharp, the pensions policy officer for the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said he is hopeful the DUP position may derail the Conservative plan to scrap the triple lock.
‘If you are doing a deal with DUP, then the DUP has a fairly clear line on the triple lock,’ he said. ‘I would suggest that there might not be a majority for ditching the triple lock. We have also said we think the triple lock should remain in place so we are hopeful that case will get a good hearing.’
Sharp added the TUC will continue to push for and engage with the government on the triple lock.
‘It is hopeful we can get an arrangement that helps build the state pension up over time.’
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