LIZ Truss has been accused of a “sweeping betrayal” of pensioners after it emerged the Prime Minister is not standing by her commitment to increase state pensions in line with soaring inflation.

Downing Street indicated ministers could ditch their commitment to the triple lock pensions as the new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was brought in to save Ms Truss’s faltering leadership searches to plug a multi-billion pound black hole.

Mr Hunt told colleagues at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that they must find savings from their departmental budgets.

As recently as October 2 Ms Truss was clear state pensions would increase in April by whichever is highest – 2.5%, wages or inflation.

“I’ve committed to the triple lock. Yes,” she said in a BBC interview.

But, after replacing Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor after their disastrous mini-budget, Downing Street backed down on this pledge.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are very aware of how many vulnerable pensioners there are and indeed our priority ahead of this fiscal plan is we continue to protect the most vulnerable in society.

“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are not making any commitments on individual policy areas at this point, but as I say the decisions will be made through the prism of what matters most to the most vulnerable.”

The spokesman did, however, stand by the commitment of increasing defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.

In the Commons on Monday, Mr Hunt did not rule out the triple lock being suspended as he refused to make any commitments on “individual policy areas”.

SNP’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Kirsty Blackman, said: “In 2014 pensioners in Scotland were told the only way they could protect their pensions was with a no vote, eight years on and now every pension in the country is under threat with the Tories’ disgraceful U-turn on the triple lock.

“It has become crystal clear that only independence can protect pensioners from the callousness of this Conservative Party and Tory Austerity 2.0

“This is a sweeping betrayal to over 12 million pensioners who were guaranteed in the Tories' manifesto to see a continuation of the triple lock in this parliamentary term - another broken Tory promise."

She added: “Under the Westminster Tories, UK pensioners already receive one of the lowest pensions in all of North West Europe by comparison with the average wage.

“It’s glaringly obvious that Westminster does not serve the interests of pensioners in Scotland and that the full powers of independence are needed to deliver fairness and dignity for our elderly.”

Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Tory MPs have already imposed this year the biggest real-terms pension cut ever for Britain’s retirees and their disastrous budget has them considering further cuts to pensioners’ incomes.

“Pensioners deserve so much better than Liz Truss and her disastrous mistakes that are leaving older people paying the price.”

The Liberal Democrats’s pensions spokeswoman Wendy Chamberlain added: “It would be a kick in the teeth for millions of people if Truss now backtracks on her triple lock promise. The British public will never forgive the Conservative Party if they break this promise.”

Around 12.5 million people who receive the state pension could be dealt a real-terms cut in earnings if their payments do not rise in line with inflation, standing at around 10%.

On Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics will publish the Consumer Price Index measure of inflation, on which changes to benefits and pension payments are calculated.