The Green Party today becomes the only political party to call for a state pension of £170 per week and a better future for older people in Britain. In addition to raising pensioners above the poverty line, the Greens are pledging to end the default retirement age, so that people have the freedom to go on working and contributing to society if they wish to, free from discrimination on the basis of age.
Darren Johnson put a great press release and quote out about the issues, saying:
"After a lifetime of hard work and contributing to society, pensioners deserve better than having to scrape by on an inadequate state pension. It's only fair that the basic state pension should be enough to live on – that is why Greens would make sure that all pensioners receive a non-means-tested £170 per week, as well as free social care for all who need it, as is currently offered in Scotland."
Age Concern and Help the Aged agree that our policies are right.
But this is a big increase – to £170 per week as a single rate and £300 for a couple. How it would be paid for:
There are roughly 12 million pensioners living in the UK and a further 1 million living abroad. Paying a single rate of £170 per week, and a couples rate of £300 per week, will cost £110bn per year. The current basic state pension, plus certain other specific pensioner benefits like Pensions Credits paid to those of pension age (which would become redundant if the basic pension rate was raised to the level we propose) costs £70bn. For the remaining £40 billion, we would abolish tax relief on pension contributions (£20 billion), and the national insurance rebate on employer and employee contributions to private pension schemes (£19 billion). The final £1 billion will come from increased income tax receipts from pensioners.
If you would like to know more please email Adrian Hollister using firstname.lastname@example.org or find my phone number on http://www.westberksgreens.org.uk