Typical energy bills have risen by £300 a year since David Cameron became Prime Minister, nearly one in ten older households now face fuel poverty and delayed action to ban rip-off pension fees has left savers worse off. Cuts to elderly care have sent more older people to A&E with unnecessary hospital admissions, making it harder for them to get the care they need at home.
With all the damage the Tories have already inflicted on us, they still want to go even further by cutting public spending to a level not seen since the 1930s before there was an NHS.
Older people are tired of being let down by the Tories. Labour knows the importance of ensuring those who have worked all their lives can retire with dignity. That’s why I’m backing Labour’s better plan for pensioners and older people.
Labour will protect the ‘triple lock’ that ensures pensioners’ incomes keep pace with the cost of living. We have taken the tough decision to restrict Winter Fuel Payments from the richest five per cent of pensioners in order to help pay down the deficit, and beyond this we will guarantee that there will be no further changes to Winter Fuel Payments, or any changes to universal free TV licenses and bus passes for pensioners.
We will help pensioners struggling with energy bills by freezing gas and electricity prices until 2017. We will also offer free efficiency improvements to at least 200,000 households at risk of fuel poverty.
We will give people freedom over how to spend their pension savings, but ensure they are protected from rip-offs by introducing a cap on fees and charges for new pension products that allow people to draw-down on their savings so they get the same protection when they take their money out as when they put it in.
And we will improve social care to keep people safe and healthy at home.
We’ll end the scandalous culture of 15 minute care slots for some of the most vulnerable older people by bringing in 5,000 new homecare workers, and we will give every person with complex care needs a dedicated contact within the NHS, who will ensure they receive all the care they need.
Older people cannot afford five more years under the Tories.
Labour has a better plan to protect pensioners’ incomes, safeguard savings, keep homes warm and invest in our NHS with more doctors and nurses so they have time to care.