Wigan trade union members call for "parity not poverty" to help pensioners make ends meet

Retired members of a Wigan trade union have voiced their concerns about pensioners making ends meet over the winter months.
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Wigan Metro Unison Retired Members’ Section is affiliated to the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC), which has worked to protect pensions and ensure the Government reinstated the “triple lock” giving pensioners and those on benefits a 10.1 per cent increase.

But as this rise does not kick in until April, there are fears older people – some already choosing between paying for food or heating – still face a bleak few months during the cost-of-living crisis.

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There are concerns for pensioners' finances over the coming monthsThere are concerns for pensioners' finances over the coming months
There are concerns for pensioners' finances over the coming months
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Carol Coltman, a Wigan Unison retired member, said: “The UK has one of the poorest state pensions in the developed world and its current value has been downgraded over decades.

"Yet we still hear talk of ‘rich pensioners who don’t need a 10 per cent increase’. That might be nearer the truth if our pensions had parity with many of our European neighbours, but they don’t. We need parity not poverty.

"Even with a 10 per cent rise, the basic state pension is still less than half the earnings of the national living wage.”

Members are also concerned about a further rise in the energy price cap in April and a delay to introducing a social care cap.

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NPC general secretary Jan Shortt said: “We welcome the news that the triple lock will be saved, giving hard-pressed pensioners and lower earners a 10.1 per cent rise next spring. It is a huge relief after months of worry for many.

"But the devil is in the detail and other aspects of the Chancellor’s statement still concern us.”