Attacks on our benefits

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2019 National Retired Members Conference
12 June 2019

Conference notes that, whoever wins the Tory Party leadership race, there is a possibility of an early general election. In any case, the next one has to be in 2022 at the latest.

Conference is extremely perturbed at noises coming from the Government about saving loads more money by axing the benefits older people receive such as winter heating allowances, free bus passes etc.

The indication is there is the decision of the BBC on 10th June 2019 to stop the free TV license [responsibility but no cash handed to the BBC by Government already] for people over 75 except for those receiving pension credit.

Whilst the individual amounts may seem trivial to members of the Bullingdon Club, many of our members rely on them for a reasonable standard of living, given that their “gold-plated” pensions have become a bit tarnished by austerity.

Conference notes that elderly people [the “Grey Vote”] tend to turn out to vote in higher proportions than younger people may. At the next general election it will be crucial to harness this vote.

Conference therefore calls on the National Retired Members’ Committee to work with the National Executive Council, Labour Link, The Campaign Fund and other appropriate bodies to add into UNISON’s campaigning a dimension specifically targeted at retired members/elderly people in order to convince them of the need to vote for candidates who oppose the attacks on our benefits.