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Labour targets grey voters with ‘pensioners pledge card’

Joanna Faith
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Joanna Faith

Labour has set out a ‘pledge card’ to win over the UK’s pensioners.

It includes seven policies, which the party says will “restore dignity and support” for older people living in Britain.

The plan includes free personal care and a £10.8bn investment in social care provision.

It also pledges to keep the free bus pass for older people, restore 3,000 bus routes and give councils the powers to regulate services again.

Labour also promises to keep free TV licences for over-75s, compensate women that lost out when the state pension age rules changed, insulate every home and stop the state taking money out of the miners’ pension fund.

John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “Labour’s new pledge card sets out our offer to restore dignity and proper support for older people after being abandoned by the Conservatives.

“Older people have had their pensions threatened under the Tories and nearly four million women born in the 1950s had their pensions robbed.

“The scandalous state of the care system is perhaps the biggest crisis facing our country. Labour will build a new National Care Service with free care for those who need it at the heart.”

All major parties have already committed to keeping the state pension ‘triple lock’, which guarantees that the state pension rises by the higher of inflation, average earnings or 2.5%.

However, the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative manifestos all take very different approaches to the issue of social care funding.

Labour has pledged free personal care and a £100,000 cap on personal contributions to other costs such as residential care room and board.

The Conservatives have refrained from providing any detail other than promising no-one needing care will have to sell their home to pay for it.

The Liberal Democrats have suggested a 1p increase in income tax to help with increased spend on social care and the NHS.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon said: “The best solution might involve a combination of all of these things, so it will be interesting to see if whoever is in power in future would seek, and be able to achieve, cross party consensus.”