Problems for pensioners

Dr Charles West and Prof. Steve Webb Liberal Democrat spokesman on work and pensions met representatives of the Shropshire Association of Senior Citizens Forums to discuss pensions and pensioners.

Dr West said “It is outrageous that the government assumes that a pensioner with a small pot of savings in the bank is getting 10% interest on their savings. It the government can find a bank offering 10% interest to savers they should tell us.
“It is also high time that pension levels were linked to earnings. Since the Tories removed the earnings link in 1980 Shrewsbury pensioners have lost thousands of pounds. Labour have had twelve years to put this right and have failed to do so. They now promise to restore the earnings link in three years time. The Tories are talking about delaying it for six years. This is a real promise of ‘jam tomorrow’. Pensioners need answers now. Official inflation figures do not represent the cost of the things that pensioners buy.”

Prof. Steve Webb said: “Pension policy needs to be stable and predictable years ahead, not made up on the back of a cigarette packet.  Bringing forward the rise in the pension age by a decade will hit hardest those who have no pension other than the state pension.
“Women’s pension ages are already rising between 2010 and 2020 but the Tories don’t seem to have thought through what their announcement will mean for women.”

Dr West added “To make matters worse George Osborne’s figures don’t even add up. 80% of his predicted savings assume that older people will somehow continue to earn and spend at high levels. It seems that George Osborne’s team made a mistake in the figures; that the savings would take five years longer to deliver and even then will be £3 billion short.
“If any pensioners groups would like to discuss their concerns I should be happy to meet them.”

Dr Charles West:   Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats

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