Fight for pensioners' benefits

News Shopper: Chancellor George Osborne has indicated pensioners' benefits could be reviewed in the years after the election because 'we have got to look at how we can afford them' Chancellor George Osborne has indicated pensioners' benefits could be reviewed in the years after the election because 'we have got to look at how we can afford them'

CAMPAIGNERS for the elderly have launched a new effort to warn politicians against scrapping pensioners' benefits including bus passes and winter fuel payments.

With the squeeze on public finances set to continue after the next general election, the campaign will warn against any attempt to remove the measures or restrict them to the poorest pensioners.

National Pensioners' Convention (NPC) general secretary Dot Gibson says the universal benefits helped keep people "active, independent, warm in their homes, healthy and involved in their communities".

Politicians from all three main Westminster parties have indicated that the future of universal pensioner benefits, which are paid out regardless of the recipient's need, will come under the spotlight in future.

The handouts available to the elderly, including winter fuel payments, bus passes, free prescriptions and TV licences, have been protected during the course of this Parliament.

But Chancellor George Osborne has indicated they could be reviewed in the years after the election because ''we have got to look at how we can afford them''.

Labour has said it would strip winter fuel payments from the richest five per cent of pensioners and the Liberal Democrats have also said they would means-test the benefits.

The "Hands Off" campaign backed by the NPC, the Age Sector Platform in Northern Ireland, the Welsh Senate of Older People and the Scottish Seniors Alliance aims to resist attempts to change the system.

Ms Gibson said: "The real reason why pensioners need additional benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and the free bus pass is because our state pension is so poor.

"Yet despite this, every year older people add an extra £40 billion to the economy in taxes, volunteering and unpaid caring.

Universal benefits help to keep people active, independent, warm in their homes, healthy and involved in their communities.

"Removing universal benefits isn't about saving money or about stopping millionaires from getting a free ride on their local bus - it's about undermining the welfare state and the principle that services should be available to everyone in retirement.

"Universal benefits need to be defended not only for today's pensioners, but for the pensioners of tomorrow as well."

Comments (15)

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8:23am Tue 10 Dec 13

molsey says...

The state pension is poor and could be means tested along with the other add-ons, winter fuel etc, all adjusted up or down linked to means.

We are all gonna be old one day, and one things for sure, NONE OF US ARE GOING TO GET OUT OF IT ALIVE??????
The state pension is poor and could be means tested along with the other add-ons, winter fuel etc, all adjusted up or down linked to means. We are all gonna be old one day, and one things for sure, NONE OF US ARE GOING TO GET OUT OF IT ALIVE?????? molsey

10:11am Tue 10 Dec 13

LeftisRight says...

Target the young to pay for the old - oh dear!
Target the young to pay for the old - oh dear! LeftisRight

10:20am Tue 10 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

MEANS test...WHAT ??

Don't touch my bennys bro WTF.
MEANS test...WHAT ?? Don't touch my bennys bro WTF. Gypo.Joe

12:17pm Tue 10 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

Raise the pension age and definitely means test things such as winter fuel allowance. As people start to live longer, we simply can't afford to keep benefits as they are.

They're saying that "it's about undermining the welfare state ". The welfare state was never supposed to be so generous. In fact when the pension was introduced, it wasn't very generous at all. When it was set to 65 for men, life expectancy was 67. Today it's 80. Therefore, even if it goes up to 70, it's still more generous than when it was introduced.
Raise the pension age and definitely means test things such as winter fuel allowance. As people start to live longer, we simply can't afford to keep benefits as they are. They're saying that "it's about undermining the welfare state ". The welfare state was never supposed to be so generous. In fact when the pension was introduced, it wasn't very generous at all. When it was set to 65 for men, life expectancy was 67. Today it's 80. Therefore, even if it goes up to 70, it's still more generous than when it was introduced. PaulErith

6:23pm Tue 10 Dec 13

old nick says...

its been bought and paid for by the retired pensioners,but now its going to asylum seekers illegals,and our home grown layabout scumbags.
its been bought and paid for by the retired pensioners,but now its going to asylum seekers illegals,and our home grown layabout scumbags. old nick

11:24pm Tue 10 Dec 13

dag says...

Nobody ever says that a lot of pensioners are still paying tax long after they retire. Anyone who has savings has unearned income and that is taxed. The more you save the more you are taxed. You can have the bus pass and the winter fuel payment YES and even the meagre state pension. But stop taxing us. The other thing is IF they stop the bus passes there are going to be a lot of bus drivers out of work, during the day there are more pensioners on the buses than anyone else. Yes I DO know what I'm talking about we are still paying tax 10 years after retiring.
Nobody ever says that a lot of pensioners are still paying tax long after they retire. Anyone who has savings has unearned income and that is taxed. The more you save the more you are taxed. You can have the bus pass and the winter fuel payment YES and even the meagre state pension. But stop taxing us. The other thing is IF they stop the bus passes there are going to be a lot of bus drivers out of work, during the day there are more pensioners on the buses than anyone else. Yes I DO know what I'm talking about we are still paying tax 10 years after retiring. dag

1:02am Thu 12 Dec 13

Missthenews says...

"The Young" may be paying for our pensions, but they forget that we worked for 40-50 years for these pensions, and their young will be paying for theirs. The Government has already stolen Child Allowance from Mothers, cut back Winter Fuel allowance for pensioners at a time when it has never been so expensive to have heating and cooking in homes, stolen a tier of pension whereby the tax would have been reduced. Get rid of illegals, get lazy layabouts into jobs, any sort will do and the need to penalize people when they reach their old age will not be necessary and maybe Mothers can have back the right to Child Benefit too.
"The Young" may be paying for our pensions, but they forget that we worked for 40-50 years for these pensions, and their young will be paying for theirs. The Government has already stolen Child Allowance from Mothers, cut back Winter Fuel allowance for pensioners at a time when it has never been so expensive to have heating and cooking in homes, stolen a tier of pension whereby the tax would have been reduced. Get rid of illegals, get lazy layabouts into jobs, any sort will do and the need to penalize people when they reach their old age will not be necessary and maybe Mothers can have back the right to Child Benefit too. Missthenews

1:05am Thu 12 Dec 13

Missthenews says...

Forgot to mention that Government Ministers won't be in the same boat as they will have nice little earners, thank you very much, so won't suffer as the "General Population" will. Never seen a poor politician yet. If you know of one, let us all know please.
Forgot to mention that Government Ministers won't be in the same boat as they will have nice little earners, thank you very much, so won't suffer as the "General Population" will. Never seen a poor politician yet. If you know of one, let us all know please. Missthenews

1:08pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Locked an Loaded says...

People are voting for who gypo joe says dont now!!!!! yeeeeeehhaaaaaaarrrr
r!!!!!
People are voting for who gypo joe says dont now!!!!! yeeeeeehhaaaaaaarrrr r!!!!! Locked an Loaded

4:51pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Agent_dave says...

Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc.

Why do they wait until rush hour to go out?
Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc. Why do they wait until rush hour to go out? Agent_dave

5:05pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

Locked an Loaded wrote:
People are voting for who gypo joe says dont now!!!!! yeeeeeehhaaaaaaarrrr

r!!!!!
When was this then, did I miss summik ?

Or do you mean all those 92 votes for comb over Brewer.
[quote][p][bold]Locked an Loaded[/bold] wrote: People are voting for who gypo joe says dont now!!!!! yeeeeeehhaaaaaaarrrr r!!!!![/p][/quote]When was this then, did I miss summik ? Or do you mean all those 92 votes for comb over Brewer. Gypo.Joe

5:25pm Fri 13 Dec 13

molsey says...

Agent_dave wrote:
Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc.

Why do they wait until rush hour to go out?
To get in your way.
[quote][p][bold]Agent_dave[/bold] wrote: Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc. Why do they wait until rush hour to go out?[/p][/quote]To get in your way. molsey

9:59am Sat 14 Dec 13

Meehir says...

Agent_dave wrote:
Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc.

Why do they wait until rush hour to go out?
We should treat our elders with respect. They should be free to go about their business on their terms, not yours. Be careful what you wish for, it may affect you one day.
[quote][p][bold]Agent_dave[/bold] wrote: Pensioners get in the way, shopping, driving, public transport etc. Why do they wait until rush hour to go out?[/p][/quote]We should treat our elders with respect. They should be free to go about their business on their terms, not yours. Be careful what you wish for, it may affect you one day. Meehir

9:57am Mon 16 Dec 13

american football says...

this gov are sending millions of brits cash to china so they dont care about the indigenous elderly who are struggling to pay their fuel bills or put a hot meal on the table an the chinese just landed a rocket on the moon so why are with giving china millions when we could help our own people?
this gov are sending millions of brits cash to china so they dont care about the indigenous elderly who are struggling to pay their fuel bills or put a hot meal on the table an the chinese just landed a rocket on the moon so why are with giving china millions when we could help our own people? american football

10:06am Mon 16 Dec 13

PaulErith says...

american football wrote:
this gov are sending millions of brits cash to china so they dont care about the indigenous elderly who are struggling to pay their fuel bills or put a hot meal on the table an the chinese just landed a rocket on the moon so why are with giving china millions when we could help our own people?
Agreed. We should stop all foreign aid right now. We simply can't afford it.
[quote][p][bold]american football[/bold] wrote: this gov are sending millions of brits cash to china so they dont care about the indigenous elderly who are struggling to pay their fuel bills or put a hot meal on the table an the chinese just landed a rocket on the moon so why are with giving china millions when we could help our own people?[/p][/quote]Agreed. We should stop all foreign aid right now. We simply can't afford it. PaulErith

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