The Tories have launched an all-out attack on pensioners. Their manifesto says it’s about tough choices and that they are designing a new system of social care, but they’re simply offloading responsibility for it onto older people themselves. Under a Conservative Government pensioners face an onslaught of burdens.
- From 2020, the triple lock on pensions would be ditched making people more vulnerable to rising prices without the guarantee of an annual pension rise of 2.5 per cent.
- The winter fuel payment would be means tested which is likely to discourage many people from claiming it, even if they are entitled to, because of the stigma attached. In Portsmouth South, of the 14,530 people claiming pension credit, 11,180 would be set to lose their winter fuel payment, that’s 77% of them. Many elderly men and women unable to heat their homes this winter.
- The state pension age would rise again. But though people may be living longer, there are many jobs and professions that the 34 million people expected to work longer would be unable to continue with. Working on building sites into their seventies?
- In the last parliament £4.6 billion was cut from social care budgets. Now the Tories want to use the value of people’s property to contribute to the costs of social care at home. This means more families putting their homes at risk. They may not have to sell them while they’re still alive, but what happens to a still living partner or spouse after they’ve gone? How are they meant to pay for their potential care if their only asset, their home, has already been used for payment? Where are they supposed to live? And what about disabled dependent children?
The Tories are failing to guarantee a decent standard of living for older people.
Stephen Morgan, Labour’s candidate for Portsmouth South, said:
“I will always stand up for pensioners and protect their pensions.
Labour plans for older people are about caring for those who have already been putting into our communities. Those who have worked hard all their lives, paid their dues and just need a helping hand when they become more frail”.
Labour will keep the pension age at 66, maintain the winter fuel payment as a universal benefit and legislate to maintain the triple lock on pensions over the lifetime of the next parliament.
This means pensions will rise each year by whichever is highest: average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent. Labour will properly fund the NHS and social care making it easier for people to access the help and health care they need.
“That’s not a tough choice for us. It’s about priorities, Labour believes pensioners need support more than top earners need tax breaks”.
This election is a stark choice between a Labour Party who will stand up for the many and a Conservative Party who will only look after the privileged few.
The Tories have failed to protect pensioners, only Labour will stand up for them to provide the dignity and security in retirement that they deserve. Vote Labour on Thursday 8 June to protect your pension.