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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 December 2011

Pensioners and workers - united fight needed

Terry Pearce, Thames Valley National Pensioners Convention (personal capacity)
National Pensioners Convention on a 2007 TUC lobby of Parliament, photo Paul Mattsson

National Pensioners Convention on a 2007 TUC lobby of Parliament, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

When I addressed 2,000 striking public sector workers on 30 November in Reading, I brought greetings of solidarity and unity from the Thames Valley National Pensioners Convention (NPC). Public sector workers and those of us receiving the basic state pension are involved in the same struggle with the coalition government.

In their response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement, the NPC outlined the depth of the government attacks on the pensions and benefits of pensioners.

For example, the government's decision to link pension increases to the CPI index instead of the higher RPI index next April will cut pensions by between 15% to 20% over the next 20 years. Winter Fuel Allowances are being reduced in 2011 by 100 to 300 for householders over 80, by 50 to 200 for householders under 80, and then frozen at this level for the lifetime of this parliament.

The state pension retirement age is rising to 67 from April 2026 to 2028, this will affect about eight million workers born between April 1961 and April 1969. This will have a big effect, as the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest can be as great as 17 years.

Last winter over 25,000 older people died from cold related illnesses, therefore the reduction in Winter Fuel Allowances and soaring heating costs from profiteering energy companies could lead to a hike in this figure.

Higher VAT, food prices and reductions in housing benefits are also bearing down heavily on those people trying to get by on the basic state pensions. It is vital to forge unity between all those fighting the coalition, young people, students, public and private sector workers as well as pensioners.

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In The Socialist 14 December 2011:


Socialist Party feature

Tories speak for the rich - not for us


Socialist Party news and analysis

Hands off our NHS!

Unacceptable! Draconian sentences for Dundee 'Facebook riot' teenagers

Striking to defend pensions

No progress at climate conference

Them & Us

Why I joined the Socialist Party


Socialist Party editorial

Stand up to the Con-Dem government


Socialist Party reviews

Inside Job: Capitalism is a failed system: support the socialist fightback

TV review: Britain's great housing scandal exposed


Socialist Party workplace news

All out now to stop the sites!

Pensioners and workers - united fight needed

Occupy London tours Canary Wharf

Action after N30

Langdon school strike

Public sector pensions - where now?

Tax workers on strike

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

"Putin is a thief", "Putin is a thief"

Kazakhstan - 20 years of authoritarianism!


Readers' Comments

Cameron's drugs problems

Attacks on Tupe rights hit hard

Building bosses and their blacklist


 

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Related links:

Pensioners:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleBT attack on pension benefits

triangle'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing

trianglePensioners oppose DUP deal

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triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleRoyal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Government:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

triangleMay's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

triangle100 years since women won the vote

Pension:

triangleLecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

triangleUCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

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