Pensioners for Independence is a group of Pension age Scots, helping other pensioners, or those approaching pension age, to be informed about Scottish Independence.
By "Scots" we define this as anyone who does us the honour of choosing to live in Scotland, contributing to our society and our national culture.
This should be the aim of any information campaign targeting older Voters, to encourage them to seek direct written answers from government departments, pension providers and other organisation at a personal level. Similarly, we should encourage inviting speakers from government Department and companies to present these facts at public meeting targeting the elderly.
Although there may be reticence on this. A DWP official explaining pension entitlement to a meeting or as has happened, on BBC Good Morning Scotland, is no more controversial than a policemen explaining the law regard riding a bicycle, or parking near a school, to the public and council members at a local Community Council meeting. So these invitations should be sent out.
Our organisation will simply seek to promote and provide resources for these aims in the event of a new Scottish independence referendum. Contact us for information, or to help.
Being a non-profit voluntary organisation allows us to dedicate resources to activities.
Scots Currency ViewAndy Anderson has been vocal on his views on the need and arrangments for a new Scots currency once we attain Independence in the next few years. A good read, link is
Pensioners for Independence held their first inaugural General Meeting on Thursday 15th March, in Edinburgh, with a good a attendance from areas around Scotland, a board was elected of the following members.
National Steering Committee (March 19th 2018)
- Co-convener : Mary McCabe
- Co-Convener : Alan Logue
- Secretary : Gordon Smith (email : Contact@PFI.scot )
- Treasurer : Chris Cook
- Pete Stewart : Membership Secretary
- John Bratton : Liaison Officer
- Jean Hall : Organiser
- Minutes Secretary : Sheena Stephens
This formally constituted group will now be tasked to develop national level strategies and coordinate across all our local groups to effectively campaign. As expected difference area groups will be able to join the board and have equal input into all discussions and strategies.
I suggest you apply to join the Pensioners for Independence Google group to get automatic updates on this and other matters. Link HERE
You will need to a google account first. You can create an account using your own email or have a google email created specifically to use, and have messages redirected to your own account. Below is the signup using your own email address.
Google account set-up
George Kerevan and Andy Anderson addressed the meeting prior to formal process of constitution adoption.
Events:Craig Dalzell-Common Weal: Scotland by Numbers29th April, Westhill. Many times we've watched as politicians and activists have misused data in the public sphere. Sometimes this manifests as a simple misunderstanding of what the data actually says (As when people ask how much of Scotland's trade leaves the UK via "English ports"). Sometimes though, it'll be used to make a political point in ways that the data doesn't really support (such as discussions which use GERS to project beyond what it actually says on Scotland's finances). There have also been instances of policies being implemented on the basis of limited evidence or of policies being implemented and then left to run without any program in place to monitor their effectiveness. This talk will cover aspects of these figures and address welcome questions possed. Book Here
Housing crisis hits pensionersDecember 2017
Housing group, Generation Rent have predicted that by 2035, nearly 1m UK households of retirement age will be renting from a private landlord, nearly 100,000 in Scotland. for the UK currently the figure stands at 370,000.
If those households owned their home, they would have minimal housing costs by the time they retire, but as renters, they will still have rent to pay and most will rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over their heads.
The campaign group estimates that if today's 45-64 year old private renters could access social housing by the time they retire, the taxpayer would save ₤930m per year in housing benefit.
Scottish Widows in a report even suggesting that non-homeowners currently in their 50s should start saving an extra ₤6,000 a year now to be able to afford their rent in retirement. As if people on low incomes are going to find that sort of money. The reason they are renting is that they were never able to find the savings for a deposit on a house in the first place, or didn't earn enough to qualify for a mortgage. and now 300,000 more pensioners in the UK were living in poverty last year compared with 2012-13.
Make no mistake about the dramatic change in the retirement landscape that is coming. Scottish Widows projects that one in eight retirees will be renting by 2032 - treble today's figure. After that it will continue rising. It says there is a UK ₤43bn gap between the income and savings people have now and what the rent bill will be in retirement. That is one-third of the combined NHS Scotland and NHS England budgets for a year - to be squandered on rent.
But rather than tackling any housing crisis for all generations, the Communities and Conservative UK Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid has blamed it on pensioners - rather than the chronic under-supply of social housing, inflationary house prices, relative low wages and his own government's failure to act.
In Scotland, the Scottish Government has an ambitious plan to provide 30K affordable and social housing homes in this Scottish parliamentary session, far outstripping the UK commitment for England and Wales, and is further committed to expanding the social housing stock.
Norman Jemison, vice president of UK National Pentioners Convention said: There is no real evidence that pensioners are against a major house building programme, so this is just dog-whistle politics which tries to set one age group against another. Rather than blaming people who bought their houses over 30 years ago, Mr Javid needs to start encouraging England and Wales local councils to start building homes again, controlling rents and making it easier for older people to downsize.
British state pension worst in developed worldDecember 2017
A report from the OECD, indicates the British state pension, (approx £150/week) is now the worst in the developed world as it has fallen below Mexico and Chile, data shows.
An average worker entering the UK workforce today can expect to receive less than a third (29 per cent) of their final working salary as a basic pension income after tax, according to a report published every two years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
This is a reduction of around 40 per cent of what their equivalents who entered the labour market back in 2002 could have expected to receive as a percentage (47.6 per cent) of their final salary. Since the study began the UK has consistently ranked low on the list, ranking below Chile and Mexico last year, however it has never come last before.
The reason for the UK falling to the bottom of the league table is down to the earnings-related element of the state pension being removed along with the introduction of the new flat-rate pension, the OECD said.
It means UK retirees who fail to make their own pension provision face a steep income drop when they retire compared with other OECD countries.
By contrast the average worker across the OECD can expect 63 per cent of their salary as a state funded pension.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Working people in Britain face the biggest retirement cliff edge of any developed nation. We are letting down today's workers if we can't provide them with a decent retirement income."
The OECD said that like other countries, the UK is "ageing quickly" and the number of people aged 65 and over for every 100 people of working age will rise from about 30 today to 48 in 2050.
It said: "Already today, poverty among older people is high in the United Kingdom: among those aged 75 and over 18.5 per cent have incomes below the poverty line, most of them women. The main reason is the low level of the state pension."
International Benchmarks of EU Maximum State Pensions as a Percentage of Local Average Wage
The new simplified state pension should improve matters, but there is a long transition period, the report said. While those who are able to save, buy their own home and put money in private pensions may have relatively good incomes, retirees without these types of revenue "are left with few resources," it said.
The report also suggested that the pension freedoms and the rigidity of the state pension, which cannot be accessed until people reach a certain age, could increase inequality in the UK. It said recent changes enabling older people to withdraw chunks of cash from their retirement pots could lead to further inequality "as not all will be able to finance retiring earlier".
The OECD also warned that some people using the pension freedoms may be inclined to spend their lump sums early or underestimate their life expectancy, leaving them with limited resources at a very old age.
In July, it was announced that the the state pension age in the UK will rise from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039, seven years earlier than previously planned.
The OECD promotes policies aiming to improve the economic and social wellbeing of people globally.
Where everyone feels valued and we properly support our most vulnerable people
Giving everyone the support they need to get on, while protecting the most vulnerable in society and tackling poverty, is crucial to delivering a fairer society.
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