How to inform older voters about independence issues has a number of constraints that are not true of other age groups.
Traditionally all voters have been informed by the range of daily and weekly newspapers, and the broadcasters. But with these conduits to the public often being governed by editorial and often political imperatives, the range, scope and even accuracy of the information is today, in these outlets, is being regularly brought into question.
It is well accepted, from whatever side of the argument you fall, that it is a bad situation for democracy that Scottish print media has 95%-97% of published content owned by individuals or organisations that are hostile to any change in the constitution of the UK. With this must come an acceptance, that having no requirement for partiality, their coverage will be consistently biased in reflecting promotion of the status quo, and therefore will project Scottish Independence, along with other non-establishment views, and those who advocate them, in a negatives light.
Consider these two pieces of information:-
1 – A leaked UK Government report shows that a worst-case hard Brexit (apparently the UK Government’s preferred option) is likely to cost the economy of the UK £2bn a week.
2 – A majority of Scots voted to remain in the EU and keep our membership of the single market and customs union, but Scotland as part of the UK faces being taken out of the EU.
Now, the only way for Scots to avoid the catastrophic results of a hard Brexit is for Scotland to become an independent country and remain a member of the EU.
No brainer or what?
Currently, a total of 18.5% of pensioners in the UK aged 75+ have incomes below the poverty line. The main reason for this is the UK’s low level of state pension.
Business for Scotland have several articles about pensions which are worth a read.
British workers can expect among the worst pensions in the developed world, according to a report from investment bank UBS, which compared the retirement outlook for a 50-year-old woman in major cities across the globe.
How much a state plus “mandatory” pension will be worth at retirement as a proportion of current income, based on a 50-year-old female in each city
New York 55%
Hong Kong 41%
Read the full article.
The government must reconsider punishing changes to women’s pensions after it emerged earlier reforms boosted state coffers by more than £5 billion a year, campaigners say.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found more than one million women are worse-off by an average of £32 a week after the retirement age moved from 60 to 63.
The change, which happened between 2010 and 2016, has taken 1.1 million women off the pensions book, saving the UK Government £4.2bn on the state support and related benefits.
Read more at The National
There has been renewed publicity paid just recently to the future of the triple-lock on state pensions.
This is the committment made some time ago that annual increases will be whichever is the greatest of :- the rate of inflation, the change in the Consumer Prices Index, and 2.5%. Both the Conservatives and Labour have said they will discontinue the triple-lock in the near future, whereas the SNP have made it clear that, in an independent Scotland, an SNP Government would maintain it indefinitely. Pensioners in Scotland do not really need any more reason than this for voting SNP and for Independence, but just in case more incentive is required, what about protecting your free ‘bus passes, because if we elect another Tory Government at Westminster that is hell-bent on more austerity measures, you can be sure retired people’s bus passes will be in the firing line next !
Angus Robertson asked PM May a simple question to guarantee the pensions triple lock. She failed to. Pensioners should fear Tory pensions bombshell.
Calling the election has delayed the Government’s plans to push back the state pension age and abandon the triple lock, due to be announced on 5 May. As things stand, May might sound an attractive proposition to middle-aged Brits, but her proposal to target pensioners’ benefits – or, as I prefer to call them, their rights – will drastically affect every voter under the age of 45 too.
Governments can review the pension age every five years, and the former Director of the CBI, John Cridland, recently published a report proposing that the age be raised to 68 from 2037, seven years earlier than planned. He wants to get rid of the “triple lock”, which protects the value of pensions against the rising cost of living, and make pensions relate to earnings instead – means-testing by another name.
ONE in five over-65s in Scotland is struggling to make ends meet – despite an estimated £292 million in Pension Credit and Housing Benefit going unclaimed each year.
The latest research for Age Scotland revealed that more than 200,000 Scottish pensioners are struggling financially, with 158,000 elderly people now living below the poverty line.
Now the charity is urging older people to get in touch to find out if they’re entitled to some extra financial support.
Frightening information for anyone wishing to stay in the Union!