Conservatives are to attack pensioners by cutting free TV licences, prescriptions, bus passes and winter fuel payments. They also plan to reverse the promised increases in state pensions by the “triple lock” the right wing call it an “enormously costly policy”. The original policy was a bribe to get in the raised retirement age.
The Tories raised women’s pension age from 60 to 65 back in the ’80s under Margaret Thatcher. Ian Duncan-Smith raised it to 66 with a view to 70.
The real intention to eliminate pensions is to get people to work until they drop.The workers’ movement has approached the strategic question of retirement to when workers have, “Done their 40”. This would mean that many who started work at 16, having left school, would work until they were 56 with pensions linked to average wages.
Many workers in the past achieved this with lump sums and index linked inflation built in for their pension pots. Lump sums in the form of savings have previously been invested in stock market schemes. Company pension schemes, paid ‘early’ retirees without actuarial reductions to their pensions because of reduced contributions and were paid out of pension surpluses. These occupational pension schemes have been eroded or wiped out, with companies stealing the surpluses to bolster income for shareholders.
Cynically, for election purposes, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition has offered ‘special’ Government sponsored interest rates to compensate pensioners but only at the age of 65. They know that the temporary nature and small numbers of people with the required amount of money is tiny.
Since the crash on Wall Street in 2008, the pension savings have decreased and bank interest has been close to 0%.
The assault against the workers’ rights to receive a full pension without reduction has continued. Taking away their rights has amounted to nothing short of theft after years of contributions have been taken. Not only this it forces workers to continue to be exploited until death rather than a right to a livelihood until death.
Workers cannot and will not accept this backward step as a proposition.