Author Archives: MmH

State Pensions in the News ….

Reproduced with permission from @WeegieFifer

1. State Pension: International Comparisons

There have been several news items about UK State Pension this week. The House of Commons library produced a briefing about country-by-country comparisons of state pensions back in May. Don’t remember it being much in the news in May but the National have reported on it this week.

Different countries have different systems for their state pension both in terms of how they collect pension contributions and how people are eligible for them. The Commons Briefing reckons that the two countries most similar to UK’s system and therefore the best comparisons are Eire and the Netherlands. Here’s what the weekly pensions on UK, Eire and Netherlands look like, using today’s £/€ exchange rate of 0.91. There are two UK levels of state pensions depending on when you reached pension age before or after 6 April 2016.

2. Raising Pensions Age to 75?

The UK State Pension Age (SPA) is due to rise to 66 next year. But reports appeared in the press this week about a proposal to raise the SPA to 75. (Guardian, Daily Mail ) 75? Can this really be true? It is true that the conservative think-tank Centre for Social Justice, which first proposed Universal Credit and is chaired by Ian Duncan Smith MP, have published a report in which they propose raising the SPA to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2038. Here’s their recommendation:

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Selkirk & District Group Are Up and Running!

And we’re off – Pensioners for Independence has a new group! We’re mostly based in or around Selkirk. So although anyone sharing our TD postcode is welcome to join, we’ve called ourselves ‘Selkirk and District’ rather than ‘Borders’ because folk in other Borders towns might want to set up their own group. We’re now up to 29 members, which is encouraging.

The June 1st AUOB march in Galashiels was a great start, and the first outing for our new banner (thank you Dumfries &Galloway – we liked yours so much, we used the same design!) Such a positive, friendly, inclusive atmosphere. It felt good to be among like-minded people of all ages, and to make links with our P4Indy neighbours – and buy some delicious cake from the P4Indy stall. It was very heartening to see support from local shopkeepers and bystanders – it’s starting to look like the tide is turning.

Future plans include a regular stall alongside the monthly Farmer’s Market, and inviting speakers. Some of us are looking forward to taking part in a Reframing workshop. 

Galashiels AUOB March, 1 June

Haven’t seen any estimates for the numbers at the Galashiels March yet. But P4Indy were there!

So far we have photos of our Glasgow and Edinburgh Group uploaded into our slideshow here. If you were there with another P4Indy group, send us your photos please!

The stall was run by Sheena and her team from our Glasgow Group. And as well as making jewellery, Sheena had been baking including our favourite Scottish sweetie – tablet! Val, another Glasgow group member, recounts this very funny story that happened at the stall…

On our Pensioners for Indy stall today a wee girl wanted some tablet but shook her head when Sheena asked : “Have you not got any pocket money?” So we just gave her some anyway. Ten minutes later back she comes she with a wee boy who asks: “Is this where you get the free tablet?” Wee lassie pipes up: “Only if you haven’t got any pocket money…”

The kids are in good company this is our FM demolishing a plateful of tablet a few months back!

Elaine C Smith talking to Wee Ginger Dug about “Voices for Scotland” – and much more!

This is a Wee Ginger Dugcast where Paul Kavanagh is talking to Elaine C Smith about her own Journey to Yes, about their reactions to losing the 2014 referendum, about how the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) has evolved since then, about the large numbers of supporters who have attend SIC events, about the success of the SIC crowdfunder and about what is emerging from that. P4indy is one of the SIC stakeholder groups. One of our National Co-convenors is on the SIC Board and the other co-convenor is on the Executive.

By 25 minutes into the podcast, Elaine is describing the process whereby the SIC Board employed Tangent Ltd to develop a range of possible Yes campaign strategies and then test them among Scots who are neither convinced No voters nor convinced Yes voters. SIC describes this as having “a particular intent to listen to people who haven’t made up their minds about Scottish independence or who support the union but have had their faith undermined by recent events”. It’s called the Voices for Scotland initiative.

Paul and Elaine talk about the best ways to get to those people we need to persuade. What works and what doesn’t?

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