National Pensioners Convention

August 2017

Issue 123Campaign!

The NPC’s monthly bulletin for activists in the pensioners’ movement

Government plan to raise pension age to 68, seven years early, will impact on six million

 chael Marmot’s report tary said: “All the evidence ust 24 hours after Sir Mi-Jan Shortt, NPC general secre-

showed that increases in shows that the UK suffers from life expectancy had come to a massive health inequalities and halt for the first time in a centu-millions of people will find that ry, the government made a they are too old for work and yet breath-taking announcement too young to retire.” that the state pension age (SPA) “We must unite the generawould be going up to 68, seven tions to fight this proposal and

years earlier than previously continue to make the case for a

planned. more flexible approach to retire-

Under existing legislation, all ment that recognises not everythose born after April 6 1978 one is able to keep working.” already face a SPA of 68, but Prof Marmot’s report said that now around six million men and one of the main causes of a women born between April 6 slowdown in life expectancy was

1970 and April 5 1978 will see dramatic cuts to health and sotheir SPA of 67 rise incremental-               However, officials have con-           cial care.

ly to 68.                                               firmed that the final decision on        Today, average life expectancy

This group is currently aged         this proposed change is likely to    in Britain is 79.6 years for men between 39 and 47.         come before Parliament in 2023. and 83.1 years for women, 

CQC claims one in three care homes unsafe

he latest Care Quality                       quate or required improvement      over 80% of social care is provid-

 Commission (CQC) report            for safety.                                            ed by the private sector - which

has revealed that one in   Meanwhile of the 4,042 resi-         has profit as its driving motive, three care homes are unsafe -           dential nursing homes visited by   rather than the care of residents. with staffing levels partly to     the CQC, 1,496 - or 37 per cent -   These continual failings will not

blame.                                                 were unsafe.                                      be resolved by "savvy consum-

The report shows that some        Across the entire adult social         ers" picking the best home for care homes are going weeks    care sector, including domiciliary their loved ones. 

without being cleaned and resi-      and community social care, 23          The entire sector needs to be

dents are served dangerous lev-   per cent of services were found     brought into the public sector as els of medication.              to require improvement for safe-   part of the NHS and should be The report covers all 24,000              ty, and 2 per cent were judged to funded through taxation.

providers in England and found     be inadequate - approximately        This is the call the NPC will be that of 10,858 residential care              6,000 organisations.        making when the government homes inspected, more than        The NPC continues to argue           launches its consultation on the 2,600 were rated either inade-             that these failings arise because service later this year. 

On the day before  Parliament closed for the summer  recess, the government announced its intention to raise the state pension age more quickly than previously thought

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National

Pensioners  Convention

Walkden House,

10 Melton Street,

London NW1 2EJ

T: 020-7383-0388

E: info@npcuk.org

W: npcuk.org

Facebook: NPCUK

Twitter: @NPCUK

 

Campaign Dates

1 October UN Older 

People’s Day The NPC will be marking this day again with a series of activities across the country. Details to follow

 

NPC Recruitment

Week

The NPC will be staging its first major recruitment drive during the week 2-7 October.

Details to follow

 

Pensioners’ 

Parliament 2018

12-14 June, Winter Gardens, Blackpool. The report of this year’s event is also now available on the NPC web-

site. Tickets for the 2018 event are now on sale from

the NPC office

 

Join the NPC If you are a member of a local pensioner group or trade union branch join the NPC. For

details contact info@npcuk.org

Housing Association   tenants now under threat  ing in housing assoany pensioners liv-

ciation (HA) proper-

ties could be about to face huge rent rises, campaigners have warned.

Charitable landlords are catching up with 1999 legislation that made secure tenancies’ rents subject to inflation + 5%, and in the last year, many secure tenants’ rents have rocketed.

Today, most HAs are huge private businesses and the 2016 Housing and Planning Act effectively deregulates the sector.

Under the Act, associations that used to be registered at the Office of National Statistics as public providers of social housing, are now private providers, so their gambling on the money markets doesn’t show up as public debt in the government’s books.

The government regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), no longer controls the sale of HA homes

NPC October  Wednesday 18 Octohe NPC has set

ber for its annual Autumn lobby of MPs.

This year’s event will be particularly important given the number of brand new MPs that have come into Parliament since June’s election.

The Convention will be using its six point Pensioners’ Manifesto as the basis for the lobby, and campaigners are being asked to gather at 11.30am in Old Palace Yard by George V’s statue oppo-

 

and the HCA no longer controls housing association mergers into bigger and bigger property empires. 

Effectively, HA tenants are now private tenants.

At present, the Valuation Office Agency sets secure tenancies’ rents, and the government also regulates assured tenancies. 

But the National Housing Federation recommends that rent setting should now go to individual housing associations. 

Most large housing associations consider rents as income streams for raising private finance, so understandably many tenants are worried about losing their rights. 

The Grenfell Tower fire has clearly pushed the housing crisis up the political agenda, and the NPC is currently developing a detailed policy and campaign on housing. 

For more information visit www.haresidentsaction.org. uk

lobby of MPs

site the House of Lords, before making their way into the House of Commons for a rally from 1-3pm in Committee Room 14.

Ron Douglas, NPC president said: “All the political parties have to be made aware of our concerns, especially on the key issue of social care funding.”

“Whilst for the time being the triple lock and the winter fuel allowance appear to be no longer under any immediate threat, it is important that we keep up the pressure.”

When

it’s gone, it’s gone  Conduct Auhe Financial

thority (FCA)

has published the findings of a huge investigation into the pension freedoms championed by former Chancellor, George Osborne in 2014.

 

The study reveals that around one million pension pots have been accessed and more than half of these pensions (53 per cent) have been withdrawn in full.

The FCA also found that most of those who are cashing in their pensions are possibly still at work with almost three quarters of schemes being accessed by people aged under 65.

The figures also reflect that, in a lot of cases, these

much money saved.

such cases, the pension pots being emptied contained less than £30,000 worth of savings

cases, less than £10,000.

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people did not have

In nine out of 10

and, in six out of 10