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    This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

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    This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

    Post by Parliament.... on Thu 16 Jun 2011, 3:34 pm

    The Tories have betrayed
    Pensioners

    From
    Tony Blair
    John Prescott
    Harriet Harman
    Gordon Brown

    Too many of today's older people - many of whom took part in the war effort helped build post- war Britain - do not enjoy security in their retirement. The combination of low incomes and the extra Tory costs they face for eye and dental services, water charges, and VAT on domestic fuel leaves many struggling to meet the most essential bills. They have little if anything left to enjoy the social, leisure and educational activities that many younger people take for granted and which older people understandably want to share.

    It is not just pensioners' incomes which give cause for concern. Even more pensioners find that fear of crime, poor and expensive public transport and the loss of local services and facilities restrict their lives unnecessarily. Having paid tax all their working lives a whole generation now finds it cannot be sure of the National Health Service or the continuing care which they have helped to provide for others.

    Millions of people face poverty in retirement. Tory policies have failed too many of today's pensioners and too many of tomorrow's. Today's pensioners have lost £20 a week through the Government breaking the earnings link with the basic state pension. SERPS has been more than halved in value. Millions have been encouraged to join personal pensions which, for many, are costly and inadequate. 600,000 people were mis-sold personal pensions and only 7,000 have been compensated.

    The Tories have betrayed pensioners and, while the Tories have let down pensioners, they have also failed to look after the interests of all British taxpayers including all pensioners. Over the past ten years the promotion of personal pensions has cost British taxpayers £19 billion more than will be saved in the future.

    Now the Tories propose to abolish the basic state pension and to privatise all state pension provision. They propose to spend £5 billion in the first five years and a total of £312 billion on their dogmatic proposals. They have not said how they will pay for their plans; nor who will pay them and by how much. But Tory priorities are very clear. Not one penny of this money will help today's pensioners. Not one penny will help pensioners who retire in poverty in the coming years.
    Labour's priorities are different.

    ((((((((((((((Labour has always done its duty by pensioners and the next Labour government will do the same. Labour will defend the basic state pension: without means-testing and ensure that it remains the foundation of our pensions policy.

    Labour will retain SERPS' vital role in providing a good second-tier pension for those who cannot get a good value-for-money pension in private provision.

    Labour will encourage companies to provide good occupational pensions. It will create the framework for better second pension schemes which will offer better value - for money, flexibility and security than many people on low and modest incomes can enjoy today.

    Labour's pensions strategy must, over time, aim to ensure that people in retirement have a sufficient income from the state and second pensions to avoid having to claim means ?tested benefits. We will strike the right balance between state and private provision and a fair balance between the needs of today's and tomorrow's pensioners.


    The Labour government will take immediate steps to assist pensioners. We will assist all pensioners by cutting back VAT on fuel from 8 per cent to 5 per cent. We will take action to tackle the failings of the social security system which prevent 1 million pensioners receiving the Income Support to which they are entitled. We will use part of the resources raised by the windfall levy to enable the young unemployed to help improve the insulation of pensioners' homes.


    We will act to tackle the unfair lottery of community care. The Conservatives have betrayed a generation of older people who were promised care from the cradle to the grave. Pensioners now have to pay for care that they used to get free on the NHS.

    The closure of long- stay NHS beds and the introduction of the Tories' NHS market has shunted elderly patients from free NHS care to means - tested social care. Patients living in one part of the country are having to pay for care which is available free elsewhere. Under the Tories where you live determines the care you get and the price you pay. At least 40,400 pensioners every year have had to sell their family homes to pay for long- term care.

    Pensioners who have paid all their lives for the welfare state find that under the Tories, the NHS isn't there for them when they need it.

    Some of the longest hospital waits are for operations, such as hip replacements which are particularly needed by pensioners. Around 200,000 people are waiting for an in patient appointment for orthopaedics. Almost 8,000 of these people are waiting for more than a year. Many of the people waiting for orthopaedic appointments are pensioners.

    Labour will cut waiting lists by cutting spending on red tape and bureaucracy. We will end the Tory internal market in the National Health Service and transfer money which is currently spent on excessive management costs to front- line services. As a first step we will save £100 million which will fund an extra 100,000 operations a year and cut waiting lists.

    Labour's election manifesto includes a commitment to a review of the position of pensioners in Britain. The review will report on the following priority issues as a matter of urgency and receive representations on the state pension including the earnings link; second tier pensions including SERPs and community care. The review will include the National Pensioners Convention.

    Labour will put pensioners' voices at the heart of government. We will ensure wider consultation of pensioners about issues which affect their lives.

    We will encourage .the development of pensioners' councils and forums so that pensioners' voices can be at the heart of decision-making in local authorities as well as central Government.

    We will include pensioners' organisations in this process, in particular the National Pensioners Convention which is the largest co-ordinating body for representative pensioners' organisations.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The original was printed and published by the
    Labour Party, John Smith House, 150 Walworth Road, London SE17
    c Feb 1997))))))))))))))))))))))

    PLEASE NOTE. I AM AWARE THAT NONE OF THIS HAPPENED UNDER BLAIR OR BROWN. THEY WASTED 13 YEARS IN GOVERNMENT EMBRACING THATCHER'S FREE MARKET POLICIES.

    BUT THIS DOES NOT STOP ME WANTING IT TO HAPPEN.
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    papa_umau
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    Re: This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 17 Jun 2011, 11:31 am

    Thanks for that Ivanhoe.

    The thing is that many people will just see this as "opposition" rhetoric as, as you admit yourself, the last Labour, or should I more correctly say "New-Labour" government actually did very little to help the plight of Britain's old-age pensioners.

    Even during their last long period in power they only discussed re-connecting the pension-rate to the average wage instead of to the inflation rate. They never actually got round to doing it. We are now going to have to wait until the end of THIS term of government for this re-connection to happen - if ever.

    It is very easy to make promises when in opposition and that piece of political flummery is sadly a very accurate illustration of how this is done.

    Sorry, but even as a middle-of-the-road Socialist I can see through that bit of condescending and patronistic claptrap.

    In fact, as a Socialist I am ashamed of exactly how little the New-Labour machine did for us.


    _________________
    Best of regards

    Papa......



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    Re: This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

    Post by Parliament.... on Fri 17 Jun 2011, 12:44 pm

    papa_umau wrote:Thanks for that Ivanhoe.

    The thing is that many people will just see this as "opposition" rhetoric as, as you admit yourself, the last Labour, or should I more correctly say "New-Labour" government actually did very little to help the plight of Britain's old-age pensioners.

    Even during their last long period in power they only discussed re-connecting the pension-rate to the average wage instead of to the inflation rate. They never actually got round to doing it. We are now going to have to wait until the end of THIS term of government for this re-connection to happen - if ever.

    It is very easy to make promises when in opposition and that piece of political flummery is sadly a very accurate illustration of how this is done.

    Sorry, but even as a middle-of-the-road Socialist I can see through that bit of condescending and patronistic claptrap.

    In fact, as a Socialist I am ashamed of exactly how little the New-Labour machine did for us.

    Bang on Pap, Blair and Brown wasted 13 years on continued Thatcherism.
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    Re: This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

    Post by papa_umau on Sat 18 Jun 2011, 12:16 pm

    Maybe we will see a refreshing change via our new leader: Ed Miliband ?

    I know that the Labour party has been seriously damaged by the poor - some might say DISASTROUS - actions of the New-Labourites but I think that if Ed Miliband really pulls out all the stops and appeals to the TRUE Labour party supporters like me - and I am sure many more - after the useless coalition has done damage to all of the things that we love dearly - especially the NHS - surely the voters will finally see that Toryism is NOT the way forward for any civilised Britain.

    I actually cannot wait until the Con-Dem alliance has fallen apart as that will be the time that the real Labour party supporters can create a resurgence of the values that place the correct priorities on looking after the weak and the poor and the old in Britain once again, instead of continuing to feed the fat-faces of the ones that can easily look after themselves.


    _________________
    Best of regards

    Papa......



    Parliament....
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    Re: This is what I believe regarding the UK state pension and pensioners..

    Post by Parliament.... on Sat 18 Jun 2011, 2:09 pm

    papa_umau wrote:Maybe we will see a refreshing change via our new leader: Ed Miliband ?

    I know that the Labour party has been seriously damaged by the poor - some might say DISASTROUS - actions of the New-Labourites but I think that if Ed Miliband really pulls out all the stops and appeals to the TRUE Labour party supporters like me - and I am sure many more - after the useless coalition has done damage to all of the things that we love dearly - especially the NHS - surely the voters will finally see that Toryism is NOT the way forward for any civilised Britain.

    I actually cannot wait until the Con-Dem alliance has fallen apart as that will be the time that the real Labour party supporters can create a resurgence of the values that place the correct priorities on looking after the weak and the poor and the old in Britain once again, instead of continuing to feed the fat-faces of the ones that can easily look after themselves.

    Nicely put Pap. I could not agree more.

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