REPORT FINDS ELDERLY IN UK SUFFER THE WORST POVERTY RATE IN WESTERN EUROPE
SNP MSP, Colin Beattie, has warned the Tory government against increasing the state pension age, which would have dire and disproportionate consequences in both Mid and East Lothian, and across Scotland.
The Tories’ threat comes following a report published by the Centre for Social Justice - chaired by close Boris Johnson ally, Iain Duncan Smith - which concludes that the state pension age should rise to 75 over the next 16 years.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has said that any further increases in the state pension age could have a hugely disproportionate impact on Scotland due to its unique demographic needs.
The MSP also called on the UK government to heed warnings raised in a new report that found the proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty in the UK is five times what it was in 1986 - the largest increase among western European countries.
Colin Beattie said:
“The Tory government’s approach to the UK’s elderly population and state pension policy has been cruel and callous.
“From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension, to the stripping away of free TV licences for the over 75s, this government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful.
“Instead of taking on board policies written up by one of the architects of Tory austerity, the new Prime Minister must take action to address the dire levels of pensioner poverty in the UK.
"The Tory government must take a step back and tackle these injustices - rather than ramping up the threats."
“GAME CHANGER” ANTI-POVERTY PAYMENT TO BENEFIT 7,700 CHILDREN IN EAST LOTHIAN AND 7,500 IN MIDLOTHIAN
An estimated 7,700 children in 4,500 families across East Lothian and 7,500 children in 4,300 families are expected to benefit from the Scottish Government’s ground breaking anti-poverty payment, it has been revealed.
The Scottish Child Payment will be worth £10 per child for low-income families by the end of 2022, with introduction for under-6s starting by early 2021.
The brand new benefit was described as a “game changer” and a “lifeline” by anti-poverty campaigners and is central to the SNP’s ambitions to tackle child poverty.
The Scottish Government this week published estimates, based on the number of Tax Credit recipients prior to the rollout of Universal Credit Full Service, showing how many children and families are expected to benefit in each local authority.
Commenting, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The Scottish Child Payment is an ambitious and ground breaking new benefit that will directly tackle child poverty.
“When fully rolled out, the Scottish Child Payment will benefit over a third of all children – giving families £10 per week for every eligible child under 16 years old.
“Tory cuts are driving too many families in Midlothian and East Lothian into poverty – but the SNP are determined to use every power at our disposal to help families make ends meet.”