Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has warned that today’s Spending Review may well have a detrimental impact on older people once the detail has been published.
Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said: “Much of the detail as to the impact of today’s Spending Review on older people is not yet known, but we may well find that once again pensioners are being told one thing and experiencing another. For example, the chancellor has pledged more money for our social care system, but it won’t be anywhere near enough. The system is not just in crisis – in many parts of the country it has already collapsed. Services are being rationed, costs are rising and the quality of care is sometimes shocking. We won’t improve care until staff are properly trained and paid, and care is seen as something that should be dignified and compassionate rather than seeing what can be done in a mere 15 minute visit.”
“Setting a cap on welfare spending and including pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and concessionary travel could also mean that in future the government ends up cutting these benefits regardless of people’s needs. The chancellor also failed to mention whether the triple lock for the state pension will survive after the general election. This will concern millions of pensioners who remember what happened after the link with earnings was abolished and how their incomes fell in relation to the rest of society. Likewise, linking payment of the winter fuel allowance to a temperature test could impact not just on those living abroad, but also those in Britain, depending on the date at which the temperature is recorded and the level which the government decides is cold enough to qualify for the payment. None of this detail has been published yet and there could be very serious unintended consequences of this policy. The devil is clearly going to be in the detail of today’s announcement.”