Standing up for older people
According to a report from the OECD, the UK State Pension is the lowest in the developed world. While pensioner poverty in Scotland is the lowest in the UK, it is unacceptable for any person to face destitution in their old age.
That’s why from providing record health spending to free personal care, the SNP government is taking action to support Scotland’s older people.
- We are committed to protecting free personal and nursing care. Not only have we protected free personal care, we have extended it to people of all ages who are assessed as requiring it – regardless of their age, condition, capital or income.
- We are implementing a new national strategy to tackle loneliness and isolation. One of the first in the world, the strategy will be backed by £1 million funding over the next two years to support and expand innovative projects and approaches to bring people together.
- We will invest an extra half a billion pounds into primary care, including GP services and health centres. Over this parliament, we will increase health spending by almost £2 billion.
- We will ensure that prescriptions and eye tests remain free of charge.
- We are expanding the Care About Physical Activity programme supporting older people in a care setting to be more active.
- Through the National Entitlement Card, Scotland’s older people and disabled people will continue to be able to travel for free on local or Scottish long distance buses.
- We have used new social security powers to increase Carer’s Allowance to the same level as Jobseeker’s Allowance. The new Carer’s Allowance Supplement increases the Carer’s Allowance by 13 per cent and is an investment of more than £30 million a year to support carers in Scotland.
- By the end of 2021, our new social security system will be delivering new claims for all disability and carers assistance and Winter Heating Assistance and Cold Spell Heating Assistance, amongst other devolved benefits. Our mission is to bring a new culture of fairness, dignity, and respect to Scottish social security.
- We have passed world-leading legislation to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty. By the end of 2021, we will have committed £1 billion to tackle fuel poverty and transform our homes to be warmer, greener and more energy-efficient.
- We are maintaining funding for housing adaptations to help older and disabled tenants live safely and independently at home.
- We are investing a record sum of over £825 million towards our pledge to build 50,000 affordable homes in this Parliamentary term, the majority of which will be for social rent.
- We are fully mitigating the Bedroom Tax in Scotland. We’ve ensured 70,000 households, 80 per cent of which have a disabled family member, don’t have to pay this unfair tax.
- Nearly half a million vulnerable households in Scotland – including around 180,000 pensioners – have been protected by Council Tax Reduction.
And at Westminster, SNP MPs continue to stand up for older people shortchanged by the Tories on pensions.
- SNP MPs are using every available opportunity to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign in their efforts to secure fairness for the women born in the 1950s shortchanged by the accelerated increase in the pension age for women.
- We continue to argue for a fairer pensions system, SNP MPs will oppose plans to increase the State Pension Age beyond 66.
- We have stood up for free TV licences, after the unacceptable Tory U-turn to scrap universal free TV licences for over-75s.
- We support the establishment of an Independent Savings and Pension Commission, to ensure pensions and savings policies are fit for purpose and reflect the demographic needs of different parts of the UK.