Socialist Worker

Pensioners set out a charter for a decent life

Issue No. 1972

Hundreds of pensioners from across Britain were to take part in a lobby of parliament on Wednesday this week to publicise the new Pensioners’ Charter.

 The lobby — organised by the National Pensioners Convention (NPC)—is part of a new campaign which aims to promote a series of rights for all older people to enjoy.

 The charter has been created after months of nationwide discussion among thousands of older people.

The NPC hoped to lobby over 300 MPs on the day making it one of the biggest coordinated protests ever. Demonstrations were also scheduled for Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The Pensioners’ Charter states that every pensioner should have:

  • A basic state pension set above the official poverty level and linked to average male earnings.
  • Free health care treatment based on clinical need and an annual comprehensive health check.
  • A warm and comfortable home.
  • Free community care and services to assist living at home.
  • Free long-term care.
  • Free nationwide travel on all public and local transport.
  • Free education, access to and participation in leisure and cultural activities.
  • Goods, services and benefits without age discrimination.
  • Active engagement and consultation on national and local issues affecting older citizens.
  • Advocacy, dignity, respect and fair treatment in all aspects of their lives.

 Joe Harris, the NPC general secretary, said, “The Pensioners’ Charter would ensure that retirement was no longer synonymous with poverty by guaranteeing all older people dignity, respect and financial security in their later years.” 

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Sat 15 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1972
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