Scotland’s pensioners will be worse off by £900 million by the end of
2014 under UK Government policies, according to research from the
Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

The CEBR study, commissioned by Saga, estimated the impact of fiscal
and monetary policies on pensioner incomes. The study found pensioners
across Britain would be £11.5 billion out of pocket – an average of
£900 per pensioner. For Scotland’s 1,014,000 state pensioners that
equates to £900 million.

The analysis included tax and benefit policy such as changes to Winter
Fuel Payments, the abolition of age-related allowance (the ‘granny
tax’) and changes to state pensions. This was coupled with the impact
of low interest rates and Quantitative Easing (QE) which has pushed up
the costs of essential goods like food and energy which form a greater
share of the income of pensioners.

The report found the Bank of England overlooked or underestimated
pensioner inflation which is much higher than state pension increases.
A recent parliamentary question from Dr Whiteford revealed the ONS
Pensioner Prices Index rose by 6.6% between 2010 and 2011, and a
massive 22% since 2007.

SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Whiteford MP said:

“This report shows the real impact of the flawed Tory-Lib Dem
austerity agenda. The coalition has failed the fairness test, and has
its priorities all wrong - giving tax breaks to millionaires while
pensioners are left facing brutal cuts to their income.

“Pensioners are being hammered from every angle – their savings are
hit, their pensions are hit and they face cruel cuts like the
so-called ‘granny tax’. On top of that the cost of living has soared
with rising food, fuel and energy bills all disproportionately hurting
the pockets of pensioners.

“While pensioners are already struggling to make ends meet the full
impact of the Tory-Lib Dem agenda has yet to come. It’s appalling that
Scotland’s pensioners will be worse off by a collective £900million by
2014, as a result of damaging westminster policies – that’s not what
I’d call a union dividend.

“Perhaps the Tory-Labour anti-independence coalition can explain to
Scotland’s hard-hit pensioners why they are better off under Tory rule
from Westminster, rather than a Scottish Government 100% elected by
the Scottish people and commited to building a fairer society."

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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