Local MSP, Maree Todd,SNP has described Tory policies toward the elderly as ‘cruel and callous’. This comes after a ‘Think Tank’ led by top Tory and close friend of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith, published a report about raising the state pension age.
The report published by the Centre for Social Justice concludes that the state pension age should rise to 75 over the next 16 years.
Maree Todd has said that any further increases in the state pension age could have a hugely disproportionate impact on Scotland due to its unique demographic needs.
Maree Todd pointed out the warnings raised in a new report that found the proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty in the UK is five times what it was in 1986 – the largest increase among western European countries.
Maree Todd said:
“The Tory’s government’s approach to the UK’s elderly population and state pension policy has been cruel and callous.
“From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension, to the stripping away of free TV licences for the over 75s, this government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful.
“Instead of taking on board policies written up by one of the architects of Tory austerity, the new Prime Minister must take action to address the dire levels of pensioner poverty in the UK.
“The Tory government must take a step back and tackle these injustices – rather than ramping up the threats.”
The UK state pension, one of the lowest in the western world, is under review and is on course to be raised to 68.
From November 2018, you could no longer claim your State Pension at 65. This is gradually increasing and now depends on when you were born.
You can check at what age you can start to claim your state pension here: Check Your State Pension Age
Remember this is under review and will change.
The full new State Pension (which came into effect in 2016) has a maximum of £168.60 per week – £8,767.20 a year
You do not get your new State Pension automatically – you have to claim it. It is based on your National Insurance Contributions. You should get a letter no later than 2 months before you reach State Pension age, telling you what to do. Men born before 6th April 1951 and women born before 6th April 1953 are eligible for the Basic State Pension.
Visit Age UK for more advice.
The new state pension is based on money you have already paid in from your wages. It is not a ‘gift’ from the Government of the day. Some people will have work pensions but for many they will only have the state pension.
Life expectancy in Scotland has increased over the past three decades, but has stalled in recent years. The slowing in improvement to life expectancy can be seen across all UK countries. National Records of Scotland
This means that for many they will literally have to work till they drop.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame