Jo to fight for women pensioners on Channel 4

Jo has spoked out about the pensions system’s unfair treatment of women

Jo Swinson will use a short film made for Channel 4 to raise the plight of East Dunbartonshire’s women pensioners.

Jo has campaigned strongly for fairer pensions for women, against a system that currently sees retirement age women treated unfairly.

Commenting on the issues raised in the film, Jo said:

“From talking to hundreds of women in East Dunbartonshire, I’m all too aware of the problems they face with the pension system. The whole set-up is just desperately unfair.

“The facts speak for themselves: two thirds of the poorest pensioners are women. Only one in six women pensioners gets a full pension based on the contributions which she has made. Over a third of the women who are entitled to means-tested benefits like Pension Credit don’t claim them. Some women literally get only a few pence a week.”

“Women should be entitled to a state pension on the grounds that they have lived their lives in this country. Most caring responsibilities still fall to women, and this represents a huge contribution to society, so their pension should not depend solely on the financial contributions they have made.

“We should also get rid of means testing wherever possible. Means tests are hugely bureaucratic, demeaning, confusing, and don’t help those who need the money the most.”

An exercise class at Buchanan Lodge residential home in Bearsden and a coffee morning at the Fraser Centre in Milngavie were visited during filming. Commenting on the changing needs of women pensioners, Jo said:

“A great many women today live into their eighties and nineties. They lead active and busy lives well past retirement age. This film will show how the needs of older women have changed, and must be addressed by changes to the pensions system. In responding to Lord Turner’s report the Government has the ideal opportunity to address the problem of pensions injustice for women. If it fails to do so that will be inexcusable. “

The film will be screened on Channel 4 at 7.55pm on 14th December.

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