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Britons should give back cash from next year’s pension rise if they do not believe they need it, Therese Coffey has suggested.
The Treasury confirmed on Tuesday the pension “triple lock” will be reinstated after it was paused during the pandemic, taking retirees’ annual payout beyond £10,000 for the first time as the state pension and benefits rise in line with inflation.
Lord Clarke, the former Chancellor, told the BBC World at One the Government should “protect the poor [and] stop giving me money to pay my power bills”.
But Ms Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said in comments given to the same programme: “Of course there’ll be some people like Lord Clarke who’ve got substantial amounts of money, I’m conscious of that.
“But nevertheless, in order to deliver this payment effectively, it is a comprehensive payment, and frankly I’ll ask Ken Clarke to send a cheque back to HMRC if he feels that strongly against it. This is about helping people in a really challenging situation right now.”
And asked if others should give the money back, she added: “I am always encouraging people who seem to think that they don’t need money given from the Government to (return it). There’s a very straightforward way they can return that, and of course other people often give it to other charitable donations as well.”
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