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Strong public support for triple lock as three-quarters of all adults think the Government should keep it, with the same proportion also supporting benefits being uprated in line with inflation

By: Age UK
Published on 11 November 2022 12:01 AM

With the Chancellor now due to deliver his Autumn Statement within days, new polling commissioned by Age UK has found that the UK public is strongly in support of retaining the triple lock. [i] Seventy-five per cent of adults, equivalent to forty million people, think the Government should keep it, rising to 91 per cent of over-60s, according to the research.[ii] 

This polling also found similar, very high levels of public support for benefits such as Pension Credit being increased in line with inflation, to help those on the very lowest incomes. Seventy-three per cent of all age groups – rising to 77 per cent of the over-60s – agree with Age UK’s call for benefits to be uprated in line with prices from next April.  Unless this happens, the Charity is warning that millions of the poorest pensioners, children and families will be plunged below the bread line, and forced into deep hardship.

The research also found that a third of older people (35 per cent of over-60s) – said they would be less likely to vote Conservative in a general election if the Government breaks its manifesto commitment to increase the State Pension by the triple lock.[iii] Certainly, there is no doubt that many older people feel passionately about the importance of this commitment: when Age UK surveyed its older campaigners during the summer about their priorities for the incoming Prime Minister, this clearly came top, alongside help with the cost of living[iv].

The Charity says it is deeply concerned about the impact on older people of a decision to water down or abandon the triple lock because this would deliver a devastating real terms cut to the State Pension – still the main source of income for the majority of older people – at a time when the prices of everyday items are rising quickly. Without the knowledge that this important safety net will kick in from April, many older people simply won’t have the confidence to keep their homes warm this winter – and Age UK fears that the threat of an unaffordable bill in the spring could mean that hundreds of thousands won't even try, seriously jeopardising their physical and mental health.

Nearly three-quarters of older people (73 per cent) have already had to cut back to make ends meet, according to Age UK’s new polling. High numbers – 73 per cent – also say they feel let down by the Government’s announcement that universal energy support will be cut after six months instead of the two years previously announced. In addition, the vast majority (of over 60s) – 88 per cent – believe the Government should continue to support older people with energy bills beyond spring 2023 if energy prices remain high (82% of the 18+ sample), as the latest projections from industry experts Cornwall Insights suggest they will.

A pensioner couple said: “We are rapidly running out of cash, due to increased cost. We have stopped using our electric kettle and use a kettle on the gas stove and will have to only heat one room when winter starts.”

A woman who cares for her husband in his late 80s told Age UK: “We cannot afford the rise in energy and food bills.  Having gone through last winter where we could not afford to heat our home - a small two bedroom apartment - all electric - heat or eat was the choice - we are terrified about the price rises that are forecast.   My husband is 88 years old and has blood and bone cancer, and I’m his full-time carer.  We worked all our lives, paid what was required, and now find ourselves threatened by energy suppliers, who do not care at all about the survival of the vulnerable.”

A woman in her late 70s said: “Cost of living increase for us oldies is just horrendous. How many of us are going to die in the winter because we can’t afford to heat our homes."

A man in his 80s told Age UK: “To make sure I can heat my home and eat; the government should honour it's promises.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “At Age UK we are hearing some deeply concerning stories from older people about the drastic measures they are taking to save money – for example, preparing coffee with hot water from the tap so they don’t have to boil a kettle, and regularly eating a handful of biscuits rather than preparing a proper meal. Our biggest worry is that as the weeks go by and prices for everyday items continue to rise, growing numbers of older people will resort to strategies like these, putting their health and wellbeing at risk.

“If it’s this bad for some older people now, how will it be for them in January, or February, when our weather is usually at its worst, Christmas is over and there is nothing to look forward to? One of the reasons why we think it is so important that the Chancellor restores the triple lock is that it would provide older people with some ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ in the spring, giving them the confidence, we hope, to keep their heating on through the winter.

“Yet for significant numbers of pensioners who rely on benefits like Pension Credit to stay above the breadline, and Attendance Allowance to meet some of the costs of disability, restoring the triple lock will not be enough. They also desperately need the Chancellor to raise these and other benefits in line with inflation – otherwise they will fall further behind financially, with dire consequences we fear in some cases.

“It’s hard to believe this is where we are today, in 2022, facing the prospect of a depth of hardship among our older population of a kind we thought belonged firmly to the past. But it’s real and it is vital that Ministers face up to it. “To govern is to choose” they say, so we fervently hope that at the Autumn Statement the Chancellor chooses to do the right thing and acts to protect older people on low incomes. If he does, he will clearly have the vast majority of the public cheering him on.”   

As part of Age UK’s It Doesn’t Add Up campaign, the Charity is urging any older person living on a low income or struggling with their bills to contact Age UK’s free Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 to check they’re receiving all the financial support available. Alternatively people can visit or contact their local Age UK for information and advice.

Age UK hosts a free and anonymous Benefits Calculator which can provide an estimate of the benefits that people could be entitled to.  For further information about the cost of living crisis, please click here.

To make a claim for Pension Credit, people should call the DWP Pension Credit claim line direct on 0800 99 1234 or visit  It can be claimed by phone and online.


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Last updated: Feb 05 2024

Notes to editors:

Age UK is a national charity that works with a network of partners, including Age Scotland, Age Cymru, Age NI and local Age UKs across England, to help everyone make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.

In the UK, the Charity helps more than seven million older people each year by providing advice and support.  It also researches and campaigns on the issues that matter most to older people. Its work focuses on ensuring that older people: have enough money; enjoy life and feel well; receive high quality health and care; are comfortable, safe and secure at home; and feel valued and able to participate.

Age UK’s subsidiary charity, Age International, supports older people globally in over 30 developing countries by funding programmes such as vital emergency relief and healthcare and campaigning to raise awareness and change policies.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and registered company number 6825798). Charitable services are provided through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s Community Interest Company (CiC) (registered company number 1102972) which donates its net profits to Age UK (the Charity)


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Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 during office hours (Mon-Fri 08:30-17:30) or for out-of-hours media support please email 

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