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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 July 2021

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Unite members at St Thomas' Hospital on strike 10 May 2012 as part of the nationwide strike of workers in the public sector against attacks on pensions , photo Paul Mattsson

Unite members at St Thomas' Hospital on strike 10 May 2012 as part of the nationwide strike of workers in the public sector against attacks on pensions , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Terry Pearce, Socialist Party and Thames Valley National Pensioner Convention

More than 2.1 million British pensioners are living in poverty after paying housing costs, a rise of 200,000 on the previous year, and the highest for 15 years. Yet the Tories, and shamefully Labour, are threatening to weaken the triple lock on pensions which keeps pension rises in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5%, whichever is the highest. Keeping the triple lock was a Tory election pledge in 2019.

According to the triple lock formula, pensioners would be in line for an 8% rise next year. The Tories have tried to drive a wedge between pensioners and young people by falsely painting pensioners as living a life of luxury on their inflated pensions. Reality is of course quite different.

The maximum UK state pension is only 179.60, just one-third of the value of the German state pension, and half of the French pension. In fact, the UK state pension is below the 212.00 minimum income required for an inner London single pensioner to not be in poverty. In other words, the UK state pension is below the official poverty line.

If the triple lock goes, pensions will fall even further. Pensioners have already seen the over 75s free TV license scrapped, and there is now talk of increasing the age at which free prescriptions can be claimed (see page 5). Fuel poverty and winter deaths are already creating real problems for many pensioners. If the triple lock goes, how long will it be before the free bus pass and winter fuel allowance follow suit?

Labour is hinting that it will support reform of the triple lock. We need MPs who will defend pensioners from these attacks on living standards! The trade unions should remember that their members are the pensioners of the future, and if current state pensions are weakened, their members will face a miserable life in retirement. Therefore, we need to build unity between existing pensioners and workers in the trade unions, many of whom face a future with minimal or low pensions in retirement.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 14 July 2021:


NHS

NHS: Kick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Scrap the privatising health and care bill

Tories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers


Covid

We cannot trust this government over Covid: Fight for a new workers' party

Trade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety


LGBTQ+

Pride is protest - Build a mass movement for LGBTQ+ liberation and socialism

LGBTQ+ workers' charter


Workplace news

Dagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

St Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

Telecoms workers angry at CWU deal with BT

GKN Birmingham workers rally against plant closure

Brush workers into eighth week of strike

Workplace round-up


International

New wave of radicalisation in Latin America

Putting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

Kazakhstan: Solidarity with protesters attacked by regime forces


News

Keep the Universal Credit uplift

Defend the triple lock - Fight to end poverty pensions

Wealth chasm widens

Right-wing study concludes youth like socialism


Campaigns

Youth Fight for Jobs is back

We need councillors who will end housing crisis - vote TUSC in Staines on 22 July

Stop Pimlico gentrification

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Everyone can spot Socialist Party in Stoke

Socialist Party meetings say: We're ready to go out and campaign


Readers' opinion

England football team

Farewell Leicester Square - the story of Britain's first black bus driver

Readers' comments


 

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