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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Lib Dem Lord: drop triple lock as pensioners 'have it easy'

Peers suffering from austerity - on £300 per day
Commonly known as ‘Dick’, Baron Richard Newby, Leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords, has decided to share his wisdom about the generational divide he seems keen to propagate. £300-a-day Dick – his expenses for sitting in the ‘Upper Chamber’ – believes 'pensioners have it easy' when compared with young people’.

The report here in the New Model Adviser business magazine sets out his thinking on the issue. However you may want to bear in mind some of the following.

It may be Dick (64), along with former Lib Dem Coalition Pensions Minister Steve Webb, think that the new state pension system, has been through some kind of reverse time warp. They allege pensioners now receive a state pension of around £8,000 a year. In reality the new system is not fully operational until 2051. In the interim it will leave many millions of pensioners struggling on much less than that figure, including everyone who was in receipt of a retirement pension before 6th April 2016.

Let’s not forget that this whole package of ‘Pensions reform’ including the penalising of contracted out public sector workers and the adverse changes to state pension retirement age were in support of Tory/Lib Dem austerity policies designed to save £500 billion over a 35 year period.

Of course many current pensioners receive much less every month than Dick would get for 2 days slumbering in the House of Lords. And as for bridging the generational divide the Tory/Lib Dem coalition did not leave out other sections of society.

The young whose Tuition Fees were trebled and employment rights trampled on in the burgeoning and unregulated Gig economy. The working families whose employment rights were attacked, occupational pensions undermined and tax credits cut. The disabled whose benefits were cut and job opportunities destroyed.

Dick, Steve and their Tory allies having imposed 7 years of austerity upon everyone but themselves and the wealthiest people in society who have prospered during austerity now believe that they have something to say that you should listen to.

The truth is they have had their say; they have cast a blight across the vast majority of our population and they deserve nothing but contempt for seeking to lecture us about what we should do in the future.

Many people have been saying they want an alternative to the ‘different shades of grey’ offered by politicians up to 2015. Now the Labour Party is offering that alternative the challenge is to seize it and never forget the sacrifice and despair Dick and his friends are offering.

Eddie Spence
ARMS National Vice Chair

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