Pensions  

Triple locked saved as Tories announce deal with DUP

Triple locked saved as Tories announce deal with DUP

The state pension triple lock and winter fuel payments will be staying as part of a deal between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.

The two parties reached an agreement this morning (26 June) which will see Theresa May stay on as prime minister in a minority government after failing to win outright at this month’s general election

The deal will mean the DUP will support the government on key votes such as the Budget and the Queen’s Speech but the two parties will not be entering a formal coalition.

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At the general election on 8 June the Conservative Party’s manifesto said it would get rid of both the triple lock and winter fuel payments.

Incoming work and pensions secretary David Gauke had said the triple lock was “unsustainable”.

But the DUP ran on a manifesto which promised to maintain the triple lock and winter fuel payments.

It also addressed the issue of how women had been affected by state pension equalisation, which had led to some women receiving delayed payments.

This has prompted a campaign called Women Against State Pension Inequality, or Waspi.

The DUP had promised support for these women but this did not result in any pledges in today’s deal.

As part of the agreement the UK government has pledged funding towards several projects in Northern Ireland, including £200m for infrastructure development, £75m for ultra-fast broadband and £100m for "health service transformation".

The deal also means the UK will continue to spend 2 per cent of GDP on its armed forces to meet the Nato commitment and both parties agreed to "recognise the importance" of agriculture to the Northern Ireland and said this will be a "critical area" in the UK's negotiations to leave the European Union.

Following the so-called confidence and supply deal, Mrs May has a working majority of 13 because Irish republican party Sinn Fein does not take its seats in the House of Commons and Speaker John Bercow and his two deputies do not vote.

damian.fantato@ft.com