Tory manifesto 'trying to pitch the young against the old', warns Jeremy Corbyn


Theresa May is trying to "pitch the young against the old" by planning to scrap the pension triple lock and universal winter fuel allowance, Jeremy Corbyn is warning.

The Labour leader is stepping up his attack on the Prime Minister over her manifesto pledges, which he claims amount to a "triple whammy of misery" for pensioners.

Mrs May has insisted she is committed to protecting the dignity of Britain's elderly as her plans to cut pensioner benefits and overhaul social care funding came under fire.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister highlighted another area of her policy platform, promising measures aimed at regulating the internet.

Mrs May said that Britain "should be a leader" in policing the online world as she gave details of a crackdown on the way firms use personal data.

"We want the UK to be... the best place for a digital business to be set up and to grow but also the safest and most secure place for people to be online," she said in an interview with The Times.

The newspaper said laws to make publishers such as Google and Facebook do more to secure information and to delete, on demand, data relating to those under 18 will be included in the first Queen's Speech of a new Tory government, along with measures to fine them if they fail to comply.

The Tory manifesto pledged: "We will be the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet."

Mr Corbyn - who faced renewed scrutiny over his past association with IRA terrorists - will use a campaign rally speech in Birmingham on Saturday to seek to maintain pressure on the Tories over the winter fuel payment and "dementia tax" care reforms.

He will call on the Tory leader to immediately drop the "anti-pensioner package" which formed a central part of her manifesto plan to tackle the major challenges facing the UK.

As well as the proposal to means-test the winter fuel allowance and end the triple lock which guarantees the state pension rises by at least 2.5%, the manifesto contained plans for a radical shake-up of social care funding which could see more elderly people paying to be looked after in their own home.

Labour views the Tory plans as an opportunity to woo the so-called "grey vote" ahead of the June 8 General Election, an important group as older people are more likely to turn out on polling day.

Mr Corbyn will say: "Where the Tories look to divide, Labour seeks to bring people together.

"The Tories are now trying to pitch the young against the old. Their manifesto is a typical nasty party attempt to set generations against each other.

"For pensioners they offer a triple whammy of misery, ending the triple lock which protects pensioner incomes, means-testing the winter fuel allowance and slapping a 'dementia tax' on those who need social care by making them pay for it with their homes.

"Some claim that cutting support for the elderly is necessary to give more help to the young. But young people are being offered no hope by the Tories either - loaded up with tuition fee debts and next to no chance of a home of their own.

"Labour stands for unity across all ages and regions. It is simply wrong to claim that young people can only be given a fair deal at the expense of the old, or vice versa. We all depend on each other.

"That's why we are calling on the Tories to drop their anti-pensioner package immediately - older people should not be used as a political football.

"And we will make education free at all levels and build the homes young families need. Only Labour stands for the many against a government which is unmistakably of the few."

But his past links to Irish Republicans were in the spotlight again as the Daily Telegraph revealed MI5 had opened a file on him by the early 1990s.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said MI5 kept files on "many peace and labour movement campaigners" at the time.