CONCESSIONARY RAIL FARES

For many pensioners, the concessionary bus pass has been a lifeline, giving them greater independence in their daily lives and access to social and volunteering opportunities. It is a concession greatly appreciated by many of us. Rail travel is expensive and beyond the means of many pensioners. Although concessions are available giving as much as […]

POWER FOR OLDER AND VULNERABLE PEOPLE

Conference welcomes the initiative of Northern Powergrid, EON and others in setting up a Priority Service Register of elderly, infirm or disabled people who require extra support during power cuts. Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee, to publicise this service and requests the NEC and other relevant bodies to encourage all other utility providers […]

CARE IN THE HOME

Conference deplores the continued use of the 15 minute slots used by social care providers and others who provide care in the home for elderly and vulnerable people. Conference notes the UNISON report, Suffering Alone at Home, issued as part of the Save Care Now Campaign in January 2016 which included the result of a […]

SAVE CARE NOW

Conference welcomes the continuing progress being made with UNISON’s Ethical Care Charter and the broader campaign rebranded ‘Save Care Now’. Social care budgets in England have been slashed by £2.68 billion in the last three years. The government claims the 2% precept English councils have been permitted to add to Council Tax will raise £2 […]

A LIVING PENSION

Conference notes that many older people are living well below the poverty level, which at present is £178 per week. The UK State Pension is rated as one of the worst in Europe. Pensions are not benefits but are in fact deferred wages from previous National Insurance payments and deductions from work and taxable income. […]

A TAX FREE STATE PENSION

This Conference regrets that there is no automatic notification to HMRC to adjust tax codes to account for the receipt of State Pension. Despite low occupational pensions, the receipt of State Pension frequently puts retired members above the level of personal allowance (£11,000 for 2016/17) and therefore liable for payment of tax. It is everyone’s […]

Dispel The Myths Around Protected Police Budgets

Conference notes that in his November 2015 Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne stated “Now is not the time for further Police cuts, now is the time to back our Police and give them the tools to do the job” (BBC News 25 November 2015). Yet in April 2016, the South Yorkshire Police outline policing plan […]

END OF LIFE WITH DIGNITY

Conference notes that retired people in later life face challenges not previously encountered due to longer life expectancy enabled by medical advances. The Dignified Code produced by National Pensioners Convention calls for individuals to have freedom and choice for personal wishes to be implemented when individuals are no longer able to express themselves. Conference recognises […]

WALKING FOR PENSIONERS

It is widely recognised that walking is an activity that has great health benefits for pensioners. It is free, available to everyone and can be a pleasant social recreation. Medical advice is that walking can improve balance, strengthen muscles and reduce the risk of falls. Living Streets is the national charity that stands up for […]

DISCRIMINATION AGAINST RETIRED PEOPLE

Our 2014 Conference instructed the National Retired Members Committee and the National Executive Council to resist moves to make access for retired people to goods, services benefits and social communications available only via the internet. Sadly this process continues with many service providers such as banks, building societies, energy providers and travel companies only offering […]

Policing on the cheap – exploiting the unemployed

Conference notes that Renfrewshire Council has announced an initiative to “offer 11-month, full-time ‘traineeships’” whereby the unemployed can be trained up as special constables but paid the National Living Wage. The local commander appears to support this “innovative” initiative. The Scottish Police Federation describe this as a “cynical attempt to deliver policing on the cheap” […]

DON’T CUT CARE

Day to day tasks that many of us take for granted – like getting dressed, using the toilet, washing, making a meal, or getting out to the shops – can be almost impossible for many of our members without help. Older people should be able to live well, not just survive and the right care […]

TICKETLESS TRAIN TRAVEL

Conference is concerned to learn that the rail industry is planning to replace paper train tickets with smartphone technology within three years and the impact this will have on older/elderly travellers who it is feared will be subsidising younger generations. Campaign group Railfuture has warned that elderly people who do not have smartphones and will […]

RURAL BUS SERVICES

Conference is concerned at the government cuts to councils for bus services, £27m in the current year and the impact this will have on rural communities who depend on bus services to get around. Rural bus services are being wiped out in many areas of England and Wales due to cuts in subsidies. Described by […]

RETIRED MEMBERS AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSIONS SCHEME

Since the implementation of the proposals of the 2011 Lord Hutton enquiry the significant changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme have produced a knock on effect that affects existing pensioners and those with deferred benefits as well as our current serving colleagues. Putting to one side the imposition of higher contributions and later retirement […]