Triple lock and flat-rate tax relief form Lib Dems' pension pledges

Written by Natalie Tuck

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to retain the triple lock and introduce a single rate of tax relief for pensions if they are elected.

The party’s manifesto, published today, said that it would establish a review to consider introducing a single rate of tax relief for pensions, which would “be designed to be simpler and fairer and would be set more generously than the current 20 per cent basic rate relief”.

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb, who was the Liberal Democrat MP for Thornbury and Yate, previously suggested a flat rate of tax relief. Under current rules basic rate taxpayers receive less pensions tax relief than those paying the higher rate of tax.

The Liberal Democrats have also pledged to withdraw the winter fuel payment from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate, but said it would retain free bus passes for all pensioners.

Furthermore, it has said it will aim to raise the employee national insurance threshold to the income tax threshold, while protecting low earners’ ability to accrue pension and benefit entitlements. It will also remove the spousal veto, and abolish remaining marriage inequalities in areas such as pensions, as well as hospital visitation rights and custody of children in the event of bereavement.

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