And Cameron’s GE2010 pension “triple lock” could be suspended
The big political news for the tabloids is the huge concession that Boris Johnson has made over the provision of meal vouchers to a million plus poor children. This followed an intervention by the Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.
The move coincides with the resumption of professional football today albeit with the remaining Premiership matches being played behind closed doors.
The climb down from the government followed an emotional letter to MPs from Rashford who himself had received free school meals when he was growing up.
There is a danger in a government conceding to pressure of this sort from a high profile sporting figure. Not only does it highlight the initial decision not to supply the free meal vouchers for the summer for children from very poor families but its sends a message that it only takes a bit of bad publicity to force ministers to change their minds. No doubt Mr. Starmer will raise this at PMQs.
The other potentially big political challenge for the government is on the front page of the FT that the Chancellor is planning to suspend the so called “triple lock”. This was the commitment made by Cameron at GE2010 to increase state pensions by the level of wages rises, inflation or 2.5% whichever was the highest.
There is concern that the bill for the government could soar because of the impact of the furlough scheme, which has been paying millions people 80% of their wages during the lockdown. This could mean that next year average earnings will rise considerably which would mean very big rises in the state pension if the formula was adhered to. Explaining that might be difficult.