60+ NUJ members expose the Con trick
The National Pensioners Convention and members of NUJ 60+ accused the Coalition government of "conning" existing and future pensioners regarding changes to the state pension as proposed in the White Paper published last month.
On 14 January 2013, the Government published a White Paper
'The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving' outlining proposals to reform the State Pension into a single-tier State Pension.
The NCP's Campaign! journal derides the proposals in which the government outlines changes to pensions that will combine the current basic and second state pensions into a single - tier payment of £144 (at today's prices) after April 2017.
Campaign! says the "reforms" will mean individuals needing 35 years of National Insurance contributions to qualify for a full pension, 30 years at present, the abandonment of contracting out of the state second pension by those with final salary occupation pensions and the state pension age will continuing to rise. It says the plans will mean "a two tier pensions system with some existing pensioners currently getting more than £144 a week in state pensions being happy to be excluded from the changes with the vast majority of older women on low pensions clearly benefiting from the £144 without the need for means testing.
"Millions of today’s pensioners though will be left to struggle on with a low state pension and a complicated means-tested Pension Credit which 1.8m older people still don’t claim, despite being eligible. The plans will create a two-tier pension system - which will take around 70 years before it
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary
said: "The outlook for future generations of pensioners is even worse because they are being asked to pay an extra five years’ worth of National Insurance contributions, work longer before they can retire and end up with less than they can get today. It's a contrick."
In a blistering attack on the current care system, Prof John Ashton from the Faculty of Public Health said older people were being "betrayed" by a system that cannot afford to look after them, adding that "The elderly are frightened of what is going to happen to them. There is a debt of honour we owe the elderly."
"They fought in World War II or contributed to the war effort and wanted to
create a secure environment that came to be known as the welfare state but is now being portrayed as being about dependency and layabouts. It's an abominable betrayal."
An NUJ 60+ representative said: "Dot Gibson and Professor Ashton's take on the plight of older people and their history of struggle to make and preserve a decent life for all ages contrasts starkly with the government's latest attempts to undermine the gains made by cutting pensions and will again ensure the worst off will be victimised. We would ask our members to take the message of the NPC to their communities,"