This year the lobby of parliament by the National Pensioners Convention was focused on several key areas:
- That there should be a state pension set above the official poverty level, about £200 a week and linked to the triple lock of the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%.
- Greater funding for the NHS, an end to privatisation in the health service and a national social care system funded from general taxation, free at the point of delivery and without means-testing.
- Maintenance of universal pensioner benefits such as free bus travel, a £500 winter fuel allowance, free prescriptions and a free TV licence for the over 75s.
- More homes that are both affordable and suitable for everyone, while recognising the specific barriers to downsizing that older people face.
- New legal protection for older people from all forms of elder abuse, to ensure dignity and raise standards of care.
- A Brexit deal that safeguards the payment of pensions, protects EU care workers and the rights of UK pensioners living abroad.
PCS Rep Glen Hatwood told the Voice: “At the 2017 annual delegate conference, motion A77 was passed, calling on PCS to campaign for the creation of a national care service, and this lobby of parliament was part of putting that motion into practice. Thousands of pensioners find themselves stuck in hospitals as there are not enough care homes to put them in. A National Care Service, funded from general taxation and with accredited standards is the only sustainable solution to the current care home crisis.”
PCS rep Glen Hatwood with his Gateshead MP Ian Mearns