NPC reacts to MPs’ report on Intergenerational Fairness

Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention has issued the following response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s report and recommendations into Intergenerational Fairness:

Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary said on intergenerational fairness and housing: “Whilst the report makes it clear that no single generation has stolen the future of their successors, there is little doubt that today’s pensioners are still being blamed for the problems faced by today’s younger generations. This phoney conflict is being used as a smokescreen in order to cut back on the welfare state. The housing crisis hasn’t been caused by pensioners, but because in Britain we sold off council houses, we haven’t been building enough affordable homes, wages and employment are low and insecure and an economy built on house-price inflation simply cannot be sustained. This is what needs to be addressed.”

On the state pension triple lock: “The committee wants to scrap the triple lock after 2020, and effectively go back to what we had prior to 2010 because they say it costs too much, but next April the state pension will rise by just £3 a week based on a 2.5% increase. In a country that is supposed to have the sixth strongest economy in the world, are we really saying that we cannot afford to give pensioners a £3 a week increase? Future generations are going to become ever more reliant on the state pension for their income in retirement – but if we scrap the triple lock the state pension will wither on the vine like it did in the 1980s and they will be left with nothing.”

On the winter fuel allowance: “Last winter, a staggering 43,900 older people died from cold related illnesses. Energy bills continue to rise, and spells of prolonged cold weather and poor housing stock mean that older people are particularly vulnerable. When it was first introduced, the winter fuel allowance covered around a third of the average fuel bill. Now it hardly covers an eighth. But the real reason why we have so many additional benefits for pensioners is because our state pension is so low. It currently ranks as 32nd out of 34 OECD countries. Cutting the winter fuel allowance might save money, but it will make the problem of winter deaths worse.”

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