Wigan Council retired UNISON members 'fight for the end of pension poverty'

Wigan unoin members are fighting to end the poverty that it says pensioners still face.
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While many may have heaved a sigh of relief after Jeremy Hunt confirmed to stand by his pledge to honour the triple lock regarding the pension increase in 2024, UNISON says there is cause to be concerned following the Autumn Statement.

Little was said for the millions of older people still struggling with the cost of living crisis.

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As the dust settles, the union says that the two per cent cut in National Insurance does nothing to offset the increased tax burden imposed by the Government, and the freezing of personal tax allowance is pulling in more pensioners to pay tax for the first time.

UNISON members say they wish to end pension povertyUNISON members say they wish to end pension poverty
UNISON members say they wish to end pension poverty
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The further announcement that energy bills would rise by five per cent from January, the coldest time of year, is a further blow to many, UNISON says.

Retired Wigan member Shirley Skinley said: “I don’t think a lot of people realise that the ‘triple lock’ on pensions has done nothing and can do nothing to address the fact that UK pensions are amongst the lowest in Europe.

"There are over two million older people living in poverty in the UK! How can this be when the UK is the sixth largest national economy in the world?”

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RMS Angela Grundy member said: “It’s disgraceful that poverty in older age is rising in Greater Manchester whilst £70m worth of pension credit is not claimed.”

Carol Coltman, UNISON RMS secretary, added: “Our retired members in Wigan Metro UNISON are very aware that pensioners are not the only vulnerable group in our communities.

"But we want to give a clear message to those who have not yet reached pension age that we work hard to keep pensions on the agenda and campaign to improve pension levels for all.

"It is unacceptable to know that there are older people missing meals, only washing in cold water, scared to put the heating or lights on and getting into debt for the first time.

"Whatever we can achieve and maintain now will be so important for the future. Any step backwards now will be a step backwards for all future pensioners.”