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Chancellor's Budget deeply criticised by National Pensioners Convention
Date of article: 21-Mar-12
Article By: Richard Howard, News Editor
George Osborne’s 2012 Budget has called into question the Coalition’s commitment to older people and an ageing population, according to the National Pensioners Convention (NPC).
Having lobbied the Government yesterday to support the formation of a National Care Service, the NPC have expressed their dismay that a potential source of funding for this project, estimated to cost £10bn, seems to have been given back to society’s most affluent with the new 45p top rate of tax.
NPC general secretary Dot Gibson said: ‘The Chancellor’s pledge to cut welfare payments by £10bn over the next few years will  worry millions of pensioners who may think their bus passes and winter fuel allowances might be under threat and the long-awaited social care white paper is being delayed, without any explanation, while around a million older people are struggling with a broken care system that leaves many with expensive care that is often of a poor quality. The money the chancellor is giving away in tax breaks for the richest in society would fund a National Care Service for all those in need. Pensioners will feel bruised by this Budget.’
Ms Gibson also criticised the Government on plans to freeze age-related personal tax allowances, to merge basic and state pensions, and on plans to review the national retirement age:
‘The announcement of an automatic review of the state pension age is clearly a forerunner to making people work up to 70 and beyond. The Chancellor is effectively stealing retirement years from millions of ordinary workers whose life expectancy is far lower than the very richest in society. This will hurt the low paid, part time workers in the North much more than the bankers in the city.’
Image courtesy of the Conservative Party.