WITH THE UK General Election just over two weeks away, on June 8th, the UK National Pensioners Convention – who represent the views and campaign for the rights of pensioners both in Britain and abroad – have released their ‘manifesto’ and advice for a forthcoming government which is as follows…
In recent years, various politicians, think-tanks and media commentators have suggested that older people are the cause of many of the country’s problems – from the shortage of housing to the lack of hospital beds.
Some have also argued that the older generation has escaped austerity at the expense of the young, despite the fact that older people are very concerned about the future of their children and grandchildren.
Plans to take away benefits such as the pension triple lock or the bus pass will not help younger people – but are being used to roll back the welfare state for everyone. In reality, Britain is not a great place in which to grow old.
Our state pension is among one of the least adequate in the western world, our social care system is in crisis with 1.8m people no longer getting the help they need and in the last 5 years over 141,000 pensioners have died from cold related illnesses.
That is why at this General Election we will call on all candidates to support a manifesto that will put the concerns of today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners at the heart of the political process.
All men and women shall be entitled to dignity and security in retirement that includes: • A state pension set above the official poverty level, at around £200 a week and linked to the triple lock of the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%. • Greater funding for the NHS, an end to privatisation in the health service and a national social care system funded from general taxation that is free at the point of delivery and without means testing. • Maintenance of universal pensioner benefits such as free bus travel, a £500 winter fuel allowance, free prescriptions and a free TV licence for the over 75s. • More homes that are both affordable and suitable for everyone, whilst recognising the specific barriers to downsizing that older people face. • New legal protection for older people from all forms of elder abuse, to ensure dignity and raise standards of care. • A Brexit deal that safeguards the payment of pensions, the EU health insurance card and the rights of those UK pensioners living abroad.