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Posted on 16 March 2015 at 12:24 GMT

TUSC against cuts

Tories' pension swaps nothing but smoke and mirrors

A Socialist Party press release, 16.3.15

In this week's budget, Chancellor George Osborne is set to allow up to five million existing pensioners to swap their fixed annual payments for cash [previous change he introduced allowed only newly retired workers to do this].

Terry Pearce is a member of the national council of the National Pensioners Convention and a council candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Bracknell. Terry says:

"Despite Osborne's claims of a 'truly national recovery', this pension trick doesn't hide the fact that the recovery only really exists for the super-rich. Pensioners are sick of being castigated by the Tory media as 'doing alright' out of the bankers' crisis. State pensions are below the official poverty level and many are living in poverty and this budget will do nothing for pensioners suffering from heating poverty or unable to afford care costs. Neither will Labour's plans to scrap the winter fuel allowance.

"Far from being a case of young versus old, as the Tories and their loyal writers in the press imply, there is much to unite pensioners and young people. Both have suffered at the hands of this government. Like many young people, pensioners have found their incomes falling behind the cost of living. We must build unity between the generations, and it's only TUSC that is campaigning at this election against cuts and austerity and in defence of the low paid, young and old. The youth of today are the pensioners of tomorrow. The National Pensioners Convention has launched Generations United, a campaign to build solidarity in struggle between old and young.

"Only TUSC fights for both pensioners and young people, we say young and old unite and fight against this rotten Tory government."

Nancy Taaffe, TUSC PPC for Walthamstow, east London, one of 123 agreed TUSC parliamentary candidates, said:

"The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is arguing that if the economy was truly recovering, for all of us not just the super-rich, then the chancellor wouldn't be using the gimmick of early pension access to give a temporary boost to spending.

"In effect, slightly better-off pensioners, who benefited from the post-war boom will be asked to trade their future financial security, with potential disastrous consequences for some of the five million pensioners. TUSC has argued that Osborne is attempting to temporarily mask a weak and anaemic recovery with, quite literally, 'old money'.

"TUSC wants to expose the smoke and mirrors being used to hide the fact that the money is out there for a decent life for all. But five million people are now described as in 'precarious employment' and millions have given up hope of having affordable, secure accommodation.

"TUSC was established in 2010 and we have consistently argued that austerity is a means to keep the wealth locked into what is now described at the 1%."


The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing in over 120 parliamentary seats on 7th May 2015 and aims to stand in up to 1,000 council seats on the same day.

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