Retired Secretary Report June 2017
Peterborough Meeting 25/05/2017
As Mick Shill was unwell Mick Goldsmith agreed to chair the meeting
He opened the meeting with a minute’s silence for the people in Manchester who lost their life.
Secretary gave a report, C.Hunt asked about Motion 29 see above, Branch Sec to write to HQ, Mick Goldsmith explained to the meeting that all the trouble with retired members voting came from northern Ireland BT branches, the report was agreed after the question was answer. He then introduced the speakers Pat Foenige & Bryn Tyler from disability Peterborough, they spoke about how they help the people with helping to completing forms and putting a case together if they need to appeal, if they cannot help they try to point them to people who can, they went on to tell how disability Peterborough was set up and what they do now, they also run a scooter hire from Queen’s Gate shopping centre, the cost is £10.00 per year. BT spoke about Inspire Peterborough which promotes sports and leisure actives as well as health and welfare, they also run a radio show you can find it on 103.2.
Mick introduced Ernie Orviss Area Possessing Rep to let the meeting know that the union might have a fight on there hands with all the new precedes and new pension scheme, if anyone has family or friends still working in Royal Mail please give them all your support, and may be if it comes to it to support members on the picket line.
Terry Henderson lead ULR gave an update of the local and HQ web sites, he also asked if anyone was interested in becoming a learning rep fpr the retired members, if so please contact Terry email Terry Henderson email@example.com
Andy Beeby Branch Political Officer gave an over view of were the Eastern Region and the Branch are with the General Election, they hope to leaflet as many places as possible.
National Pensioners Parliament
National Pensioners Convention 2017
This year’s NPC was attended by- Pat Friskey (Secretary) Mick Shill (Chairman) & Dick Hewlett.
The Mayor of Blackpool officially opened the Parliament and welcomed all delegates and hoped they have successfully meetings.
Meeting chaired By Ron Douglas (President NPC) and welcomed us all to the Parliament, he introduced speaker’s Dr Debora Price Professor of Social Care Gerontology University of Manchester, Neal Radia (Chair National Association of Care Catering, Paul Peters (Disabled People Against the Cuts) Jim Tilley (Director International Consortium of British Pensioners), Heather Wakefield (head of Local government UNISON) Jan Shortt (GS NPC)
They spoke about Britain is one of the worse country’s in the world for pension coming 3rd from bottom, if you as a pensioner leave to go to live in a country that has no agreement with the British Government to up your state pension when the yearly updates increase your pension you will not get them, your pension is frozen the day you leave Britain. Care in the community or lack of it, and with all the local and government cuts, care careering and meals on wheels being cut back through lack of funding, when I went to the stall outside to ask about local services I was handed a private firms booklet with all the meals they do.
Disabled persons cut to their benefits are a disgrace leaving them on the poverty line and some below. Most speakers said how the cuts to hospitals care homes social care and personal cuts had resulted in lost in jobs and services.
I attend two of the six sessions.
Is the housing crisis caused by older people speakers Brian Beech (International Longevity Centre) and Dr Alison Wallace (University of York)?
There is a shortage of suitable and affordable houses for young and hold, the older generation looking to down size and put a bit of money away to help in their retirement or to help family members to get to own their own house, and the younger generation cannot afford to get a mortgage as there is no affordable houses on the market for them.
The state of the NHS
Speaker Paul Evans (NHS Support federation) and Dr Tony O’Sullivan (health Campaigns) Jan Shortt (NPC GS)
What care do older people need and what do they receive. Our older people receive good care be it at home or care home, however with tree tip which is from the USA would privatise the NHS, in fact some services within the NHS have been privatised by the back door. It needs cash ingestion for more doctors and nursed without taking anything back through cuts. Social Care
needs to get more training into care home, hospitals and GPs to spot the early signs of dementia, cost of care is going up, and government funding being cut, a with other conditions, carers that are family members being unpaid, older people are living longer and according to the government costing the country more, the government said they would put an extra £8bill in to the NHS, what they did not tell us they would be looking for £21bill of cuts.
A quarter of beds in hospitals are being taken up by dementia patients, these patients need to be at home, or in care homes, where they would get the comfort they deserve, and it is not just the old that suffer from dementia, it can hit at any time.
If you need any information on this subject, I have leaflets and an address if anyone needs to contact the Alzheimer’s Society, we also heard how there is a secret document held by government of the names of hospitals on a list for closing.
Mick Shill attend Brexit & Transport
What will happen when we leave the EU, this could impact on the lives of older people considering their pension travel & health, as we know our pensioners are on the bread line now, how will this movement keep up with their care.
Buses are the most popular form of transport, saving congestion on the roads and bringing the pollution down also many people cannot drive as they simply cannot afford a car and people with health issues. Pensioners need to keep their bus passes as for some it is there only way to get out of their home environment.
It was also said that pensioners should be able to use their bus passes on the trains.
With the cutbacks, there are fewer buses in urban areas, no buses in Rural areas, no staff on stations to help the disabled Automated Ticketing and a proposed massive increase on Driver Only Trains.
Dick Hewlett attended two of the six sessions on behalf of the retired member’s.
Where next for the state pension and the future of local Pensioners Groups report below
This was opened by the Chairman- Barry Todman who introduced two speakers – Hilary Salt (First Actuarial) & Neil Duncan-Jordon (NPC) & welcomed everyone in attendance.
Both speakers spoke passionately on Pension’s, both State & Occupation, & other issues (see below).
A state pension set above the official poverty level, at around £200 a week and linked to the triple lock of the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5% One in six older people live in below the poverty line and up to 6 million have an income of less than £11,000 a year. The UK’s state pension is among the worst in the developed world (ranked as 32nd out of 34 OECD countries) and successive governments have allowed it to deteriorate. All older people, both now and especially future generations need a guaranteed income on which they can live. The simplest and fairest way of doing this is through improving the state pension for all pensioners – taking it to a level which is 70% of the living wage. Many argue the triple lock on the state pension is too generous, but even with it in place for six years, the state pension is still less than it would have been had the link with earnings not been broken in 1980. Far from having done its job, the triple lock is still needed to ensure that the gap between pensioners’ incomes and the rest of society does not widen.
Furthermore, Pensioner’s will rely on State Pension’s more, as the Occupation Pension’s will be chipped away even more.
There are of course a whole host of other very important issues with which the NPC has been campaigning for, these include:
- The rights of older Carer’s, including gaining entitlement to the Carer’s Allowance.
- The impact of the bedroom tax on older tenants in social housing.
- Issues around increases in the State Pension Age for men and women.
- The unfairness of ‘frozen’ pensions for 500,000 UK pensioners living abroad.
- Fuel poverty and the number of winter deaths among older people.
- The effect of cuts to meals on wheels services.
- The need for guards on trains to assist disabled and older travellers.
Hopefully this government will not touch any of our or the disabled benefits now we have the general election over with and the Tory’s got a big punch on the chin