White Paper will not help today’s Scottish Pensioners – Jo

Jo has criticised the Government’s extensive use of means-testing as complex and off-putting for many pensioners

Government policy on Pensions is moving in the right direction, but too slowly for today’s pensioners, according to Liberal Democrat Shadow Scottish Secretary, Jo Swinson MP.

Commenting on the Government’s White Paper on Pension Reform, Jo Swinson said:

“It is very disappointing that a reliance on high levels of means testing has not been tackled in the White Paper. 170,000 Scottish pensioners currently fail to claim the means-tested benefits to which they are entitled and these proposals will do nothing to reduce that figure.

“Moves to restore the link between pensions and earnings should be welcomed, but only if the basic state pension level is raised. By not raising the basic level, the Government is undermining today’s proposals by storing up problems for the future.

“The Liberal Democrats have proposed a rise in the state pension to £114, in addition to the restoration of the pensions – earnings link, making a decent state pension available to all.

“Elsewhere, the White Paper is a mixed bag: it is accepted that the state pension age will need to rise, but a ‘get out clause’ suggests the Chancellor plans to delay the restoration of the earnings link so that it does not coincide with this rise.

“The Government is broadly on the right track with the approach of the National Pensions Savings Scheme, but has ducked the issue of Public Sector Pensions Reform, where they should have set out plans to establish an Independent Commission to bring forward proposals for reform.

“Lord Turner’s proposals for a residency-based pension have also been ignored, consigning many people, particularly women, to receipt of a part-time pension.”

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