Retired Members’ Outrage at the Budget and Attacks on Pensions

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2012 National Retired Members Conference
12 June 2012
Carried as Amended

This conference condemns the Coalition Government’s callous attacks on pensioners and the state pension framed in the March 2012 Budget which discriminate against the elderly and will lead to the increased financial insecurity and pensioner poverty.

The basic state pension may be rising by 5.2%, a decision taken prior to the budget, but this is offset by the freeze on age related personal tax allowances. Compare that to the top-rate taxpayers who will see their tax bills substantially reduced.

Most pensioners will have already suffered the harmful impact of rising prices including the rising cost of food and energy. This will be compounded by the current proposals and by the earlier decision to change the calculator for index linked pension increases from RPI to CPI which does not include the cost of housing and fails to recognise that many pensioners live in rented accommodation.

These proposals will further harm the quality of life for many of the most vulnerable in society leading to greater fuel poverty, poor physical and mental health and loneliness. The 2010 statistics show that 27,000 older people died of cold related illnesses, an increase of 2000 on the previous year.

This conference further condemns the term ‘granny tax’, all too frequently used by politicians and in the media. It is patronising, chauvinistic and demeaning. Furthermore it is dismissive, simply inaccurate and potentially very hurtful.

Conference calls upon the National Retired Members’ Committee and the NEC to work with Labour Link, National Pensioners’ Convention and the TUC to defend pensioners rights and put pressure on the Coalition Government to reverse its decision to freeze age related personal allowances and to revert to RPI as the calculator for pension increases.