The NPC’s main objective is to promote the welfare and interests of all pensioners, as a way of securing dignity, respect and financial security in retirement.
The NPC organises rallies and lobbies of MPs, leads delegations to parliament and makes submissions to government on policies affecting older people. The Convention also stages an annual three-day Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool, where up to 2000 representatives discuss issues of concern and share ideas in an atmosphere of genuine friendship.
The NPC also features regularly in both the local and national media and uses every opportunity to raise awareness of the issues that affect older people. One of the Convention’s priorities is to therefore influence public opinion and where appropriate, secure changes in government policy.
In our relatively short history, through our campaigning and influencing work we have achieved some significant benefits for older people:
- Restoration of the link with earnings – 30 years after the Thatcher government took it away
- Introduction of the free concessionary bus pass from the Labour government when John Prescott was Transport Minister
- Introduction of the winter fuel allowance when Gordon Brown was Chancellor
- A change in the rules so that someone in hospital no longer has their state pension stopped until after 52 weeks, rather than the original 6 weeks
- Led the successful campaign to reduce VAT on fuel to 5%
The real strength of the organisation however comes from the work of our many affiliated groups, who are active in their local areas and regions promoting the NPC’s campaigns. This makes the Convention unique, as the only national campaign group in the country which is run by pensioners for pensioners.
To keep our supporters informed the NPC also produces a bi-annual newspaper called The Message, a monthly Campaign! email bulletin, briefing papers and pamphlets, as well as organising seminars, training sessions and provides speakers at meetings all over the country. The Convention also maintains a library of useful information on a wide range of subjects, which is available to both groups and individuals on request.
With more support the NPC will be able to continue to develop its organisation and strengthen its influence as the campaigning voice of both today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners.