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Independent Green Voice

SUPPORT OUR PENSIONERS

Pensioners deserve a better deal. Presently, pensions are adjusted in line with inflation, rather than with average earnings. This means that they are calculated using the statistics of least growth rate. Therefore pensioners are being denied the increases they had enjoyed previously.

Although pensions are under the control of Westminster, the Scottish Parliament can lobby for any issue, and we advocate that pensions should be linked to average earnings, in order to increase the amount of money which our pensioners receive.

In addition we want to:

  • Abolish the cost of telephone line rentals for over 65s
  • Provide TV licences for over 65s
  • Ensure free public transport travel across Scotland for all pensioners
  • Encourage companies to appreciate the skills and experiences of older people

We believe that consideration should be given to the recent report from the New Economics Foundation.
People's Pensions: New Thinking for the 21st Century

This report suggests a "People's Pension Fund" could be a way out of the pensions crisis plaguing the UK. It links pensions with local investment in public services.

Written by Richard Murphy, Colin Hines and Labour MP Alan Simpson, it proposes a new framework for pensions, based on investment in public infrastructure projects and services, which is currently not an option for UK pension funds.

This is an entirely new pensions framework, and it is not subject to the ups and downs of the stock market.

As Richard Murphy says, "We have a pension crisis because we've been investing pension cash in the wrong things. The stock market has absorbed most UK pension investment, but less than 15 per cent of that money has actually been used to create new investment in the UK economy. The rest has been used for speculation. The government now has a duty to make sure that a more reliable basis for paying pensions is created - we can't gamble our future security again. People's Pensions can create that security. It's a double win. It will also mean that the current annual £16.5 billion of state subsidy for pensions, most of which is now gambled, is better used."

Colin Hines says, "What we are providing here is a new choice for those who want to save for their retirement. No-one would have to buy a People's Pension. But if you did you'd have the benefit of knowing you'd provided for your old age and helped your local economy, all at the same time. A People's Pension Fund that could be invested in health, transport, education, sustainable energy and social housing projects - depending on the investor's choice - would provide the double benefit of boosting the cash available for public services projects, at a much lower cost than PPP or PFI options, and restocking the value of UK pension plans so that they provide a secure and dignified retirement."

You can get a copy of the report by contacting
the New Economics Foundation,  6-8 Cole Street,  London SE1 4YH
Tel: 020 7089 2800     Fax: 020 7089 2800     info@neweconomics.org
or you can download it free from the NEF website at
http://www.neweconomics.org/Default.asp?strRequest=pubs

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