Gwynne attacks Tories’ triple whammy on pensions

Pension Triple WhammyLocal Labour candidate for Denton and Reddish, Andrew Gwynne, has attacked the Tory Party as they announced their manifesto pledges which included plans to drop the ‘Triple Lock’ on state pensions, introduce means-tested Winter Fuel Payments, and abandoning their promise to introduce a cap on charges for residential social care.  

The government’s failure on tackling poverty among the elderly was laid bare in the Department for Work and Pensions own figures which showed that pensioner poverty has risen over 300,000 since 2010-11[1], rising to 1.9 million of those aged over 65.

Now however, the Tories plans to abandon the ‘Triple Lock’ and replace it with a weaker ‘Double Lock’ which will mean pensioners risk losing hundreds of pounds each year. Figures from the House of Commons Library reveal that those in receipt of a state pension would have been £330[2] worse of under the Tories’ new Double Lock had it been in place between 2013/14 and 2017/18, compared with the basic state pension being uprated by the Triple Lock.

On Winter Fuel Payments, even though Theresa May herself said in the House of Commons in 2011 that, “we need to protect benefits such as the winter fuel allowance[3]” her manifesto includes a commitment to means-test Winter Fuel Payments with support only for those ‘most at risk of fuel poverty’. According to the Resolution Foundation, this will strip up to ten million pensioners of their Winter Fuel Payments, worth up to £300.[4]

On social care the Tories had pledged to protect the elderly from the costs of residential care[5], now, Theresa May has completely abandoned the social care cap. Instead the Conservatives plan to put homes into the means-test for domiciliary care and protect assets of £100,000, which will leave thousands of the most vulnerable at risk of losing their homes.

Labours plans on the other hand include a commitment to increasing the social care budget by a further £8 billion over the lifetime of the next Parliament, including an additional £1 billion for the first year[6]. The proposals also include plans to lay the foundations of a new National Care Service for England, so that social care problems of tomorrow are tackled today.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“By abandoning the triple lock on the state pension the Tories have turned their backs on millions of pensioners who risk being hundreds of pounds worse off each year.

“Plans to abandon the social care cap and introduce means tested Winter Fuel Payments will make living in old age much more difficult for the vast majority of elderly people.

“A Labour government will not risk the security and living standards of pensioners. We will protect pensioners’ incomes by legislating to keep the Triple Lock over the lifetime of the next parliament as well as well as keeping Winter Fuel Payments and free bus passes”

 

 

[1] DWP, 16 March 2017, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201516 ‘Estimated number of children in relative/absolute low income of Households Below Average Income: 1994/95 to 2015/16

[2] Labour analysis using figures published by the House of Commons Library, ‘State Pension Uprating’, 7 February 2017. http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05649

[3] Hansard, 8 June 2011, https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2011-06- 08/debates/11060855000002/

[4] http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/blog/death-taxes-the-conservative-manifesto-andthe-changing-politics-of-intergenerational-fairness/  [18 May 2017]

[5] Conservative Party Manifesto 2015, Page 65

[6] http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/Images/manifesto-2017/Labour%20Manifesto%202017.pdf, Page 71

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s