Pensioners lobby for better deal

pensioner holding Hundreds of pensioners will lobby Parliament to press the Government for increased rights in retirement, including a higher state pension.

The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) said its protest was also aimed at calling for a national Care Service, paid for through general taxation, and a winter fuel allowance of £500 per pensioner household to help old people pay rising energy bills.
The NPC said Britain's state pension was among the least adequate in Europe, and sixth from bottom out of the world's 46 most developed countries.

General secretary Dot Gibson said: "Most commentators now believe that the poorest in our society are beginning to pay the highest price for the cuts to public spending, benefits and services.

"Whether through lower pensions, reduced or inferior care services or cuts to winter fuel payments, older people are being told to shoulder a much bigger burden than those at the very top.

"Rather than declaring that the older generation is a drain on our society, we should recognise that every year, pensioners are providing over £40 billion in taxes, unpaid caring, voluntary work and childminding.

"Yet around one in four pensioners still live in poverty and rising costs of food and fuel, combined with record lows in savings returns, mean that pensioners continue to suffer a disproportionate increase in the cost of living.

"After a lifetime of working, older people deserve a decent state pension, proper care when they need it and the right to keep warm in the winter. The coalition Government needs to do more to reassure pensioners that their retirement is not under threat."

Pensioners will lobby their MPs and hold a rally inside Parliament, which will be addressed by politicians and union leaders.

© 2011 Press Association
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