Sunday, 16 May 2010

Fair Pensions for All.

Some of you will have noticed that I have been having a bit of a ding dong debate with the Druid about Plaid Cymru's 'flatlining' at the recent election. Now the Druid believes our 'failure' (his words) was down to the launch of our signature policy of Fair Pensions where it was 'spun' by the press as an unaffordable policy which we could never implement because we could only get a maximum of 40 MP's in Wales. This fails to recognise the strength of the 'progressive left' within parliament many of whom would identify and support such a policy.

Now this is what the Western Mail said in its headline,
"Promise of a 30% pension increase set to give Plaid a running start in the battle for Commons seats"

It then goes on to report:
“Under Plaid’s plans for a living pension everyone from the age of 65 will receive a guaranteed state pension at the rate of pension credit – which next year would amount to £202 per week for a couple. We know that many pensioners in poverty do not apply for pension credit.

To ensure that every pensioner gets pension credit up to minimum income guarantee of £132 (single) and £205 (couple) doesn't mean an increase of 30%, it just means they get their entitlement which currently they don't.

Perhaps I could clarify by using an article from one of my election newsletters:

"One of my main concerns is that of elderly poverty, those people who have worked all their lives only to struggle on a small pension of £95 per week. Many older people don't know that they are entitled to a minimum guaranteed income of £130 per week for a single person or £198 for a couple. This is because they don't know about Pension Credit, because its means tested people have to apply for it.

Many people have saved for their retirement and because they have savings they think they cannot have anymore money but that is not the case. The first £10,000 of savings is not counted when calculating Pension Credit. Married couples who have incomes of £250 per week may still be entitled to some Pension Credit.

There are 13,500 people over 65 in Wrecsam and only a third of them are in receipt of Pension Credit. Research suggests that a further third of all pensioners are eligible for Pension Credit but don't get it; this means that 4,000 older people in Wrecsam are losing out. I and Plaid Cymru believe that Pension Credit should be included in the State Retirement Pension and then everyone gets it automatically. That extra £35 a week would make a massive difference to the lives of those people not getting Pension Credit."

The failure to take up Pension Credit SAVES the government nearly £6 billion a year.
Rather than criticising Plaid Cymru you should be joining with us in ensuring a fair and equitable society.

On a more personal note, if you want a hand to claim you pension credit (you can claim from 60!) just email me, always willing to help an old adversary.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your 'get out' clauses on the right hand side of this blog's frontpage are totally irrelevant - you are all personally responsible for what's published on this blog. Period.

Furthermore, you also in breach of Wrexham Council's Code of Conduct for Councillors for referring to yourselves as Councillors on this blog as this suggests that you are speaking on behalf of the Council and you are patently not.

The code says:

Code of Conduct for Members
PART II

General Provisions

4.You must -

(b) show respect and consideration for others;
(d) not do anything which compromises, or which is likely to compromise, the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, your authority.

6.-(1) You must -

(a) not conduct yourself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing your office or authority into disrepute;
(d) not make vexatious, malicious or frivolous complaints against other members or anyone who works for, or on behalf of, your authority.

Just trying to be helpful of course :-)

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Council officers are well aware of this blog and haven't made any objection. Are you trying to say that Paul Flynn, Tom Harris and people like that can't have blogs or are you just trying to stifle our freedom of speech? If the disclaimer is good enough for Jack of Kent then its good enough for me.