STURGEON OUTLINES INDEPENDENCE GUARANTEES FOR PENSIONERS

GORDON BROWN AND LABOUR MUST ANSWER FOR BACKING TORY PENSION CUTS

Nicola Sturgeon is today outlining key guarantees for pensioners offered by independence – and challenged Labour to back them instead of backing the Tories.

Scotland’s Future sets out a process to set a state pension age that is appropriate for Scotland, to retain the savings credit, uprate pension credit and the state pension by a triple-lock that keeps pace with the cost of living and set the value of the Single Tier Pension in Scotland at a minimum of £160 per week - a move that will benefit new pensioners by £260 a year compared to what is estimated to be on offer from the anti-independence parties.

Meanwhile, as the referendum campaign enters its final weeks, Labour is standing firmly behind the Tories and their plans to increase the state pension age to 67 at an accelerated pace, their failure to properly uprate entitlement to pension credit, their decision to abolish the savings credit which hits poorer pensioners and their utter failure to state what the value of the single tier pension will be.

Commenting, SNP Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Gordon Brown and Labour have to explain why they are backing Tory plans to cut payments for pensioners across Scotland.

"When he was the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown backed a much slower increase in the state pension age, but now the Labour party has joined the Tories in plans to increase the state pension age to 67 from 2026.

“This decision is unfair to men and women across Scotland and will mean that Scottish pensioners continue to lose on average £10,000 compared to pensioners in the rest of the UK.

“The decision to follow the Tory lead and abolish savings credit is a direct hit on poorer pensioners who have saved for their retirement.

“This is a particularly mean spirited decision and Labour should be ashamed that they have signed up with the Tories on this cut.

“Similarly the decision not to increase pension credit in line with the triple-lock is a blow to poorer pensioners

“Labour and the Tories are singing from the same hymn sheet on pension cuts and it is only a Yes vote that will protect pensioners in future from these cuts.

“Scotland is a rich country which can well afford to fund out pension payments and an independent Scotland will give pensions and pensioners the priority they deserve. It is only with independence that all our pensioners will be protected from Tory cuts.”




Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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