Activists with the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) were to lobby parliament on Wednesday of this week to mark 100 years since the introduction of the state pension – and to demand a rise in the pitifully low current state pension rate. The lobby is backed by many trade unions and by the TUC.
NPC general secretary, Joe Harris, said, 'The government should use the huge £46 billion surplus in the National Insurance Fund and give everyone a pension that takes them out of poverty.
'It's not acceptable that there's billions for bankers, but peanuts for pensioners.'
Pensioners and campaigners will demand that the link between state pensions and earnings is restored immediately.
This link was abolished by the Tory government during the 1980s and has led to a progressive drop in living standards for older people.
Poverty among pensioners rose 300,000 to hit 2.5 million last year. The current state pension is £90.70 a week for single pensioners and £145.05 for couples.
Pensioner activist Mary Phillips from south London will be one of the protesters at the lobby.
'Our local pensioners group took our banner to the 'March on the City' protest earlier this month,' she told Socialist Worker.
'Now we want people to return the solidarity and come out with their union banners to support our lobby for an end to pensioner poverty.'