Our Elderly deserve better than Labour

By Craig Rimmer

craig rimmer

Ed Balls and the Labour Party now, in an attempt to make us forget about their profligate spending in office, wish to hit the most vulnerable in Society and cap the State Pension. Ed Balls announced as much on the BBC this weekend. This is a further betrayal of hard working British people by the Party which is increasingly lost for anything sensible to say about the deficit and the economy in general. Not only is it an attack on the over 60’s but also future generations. It also comes off the back of their announcement to means test the winter fuel allowance.

I perfectly accept, that there are strong demographic reasons for doing something about state pensions but this is already being actioned by the current government. The retirement age is already rising for most British workers.

 If you were born in the 1980’s or later your state pension age will currently be 68 and this could rise further in the decades prior to your retirement. This government policy started in motion under the last Labour government and has been continued by the Coalition government. David Cameron, brought in measures to enhance the pension’s value going forward as a trade-off for increasing the pension limits. With the triple lock guarantee in place, pensioners are guaranteed that their pensions will go up by the highest out of earnings inflation, CPI or 2.5% p.a. and the pension credit is being combined with the state pension so as not to punish savers.

If the basket of goods for consumer price inflation was based on typical purchases and costs for old age pensioners, then inflation would be running at just over 23% according to Saga (the Guardian, 16 October 2012) and so it is crucial to protect our elderly from falling into poverty.

It is my suspicion that Ed Balls will seek to change the triple lock to the lower of CPI or 2.5% p.a. He will also likely announce the bringing back of the means tested pension credit system that penalises anyone who has saved for their retirement through cash accounts or building up private or work pension income.

Gordon brown once only increased the State Pension by 75p and was derided for doing so. It looks like his protégé, Mr Balls has not learnt the lessons of the last Labour government very well.

Labour, leave our old folks be, many have worked hard and even fought for their country.

Craig Rimmer is President of Parliament Street

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