New figures published by the Scottish Government have revealed that pensioners in Midlothian can expect to get less money than people south of the border.
Based on a pension entitlement of £160 per week, comparison of every local authority in Scotland with the UK averages shows that the vast majority of 65-year-old Scots across the country get less of their state pension entitlement than residents in England.
Last month, the Scottish Government published analysis suggesting that lower life expectancy in Scotland meant that female pensioners could expect to get £11,000 less and male pensioners could receive £10,000 less than their counterparts south of the border.
Commenting, Mr Beattie said:
“Pensioners across Scotland are losing out because unfortunately we have a lower life expectancy in Scotland. We are doing everything we can to raise life expectancy - through the protection of free prescriptions, free personal care for the elderly, the smoking ban and this government’s commitment to cut alcohol abuse. Though, while the situation remains, how can it be fair that pensioners north of border are paying the same into the pot but getting less back?
“In Midlothian, men can expect to get £8,000 less of their entitlement and women can expect to receive £12,000 less than citizens south of the border with the same entitlement.
“In an independent Scotland, the Scottish Government will seek to establish a commission which will examine the case for delaying the rise of the state pension age to ensure that it suits Scotland’s circumstances.
“With the limited powers of devolution we have made good progress in tackling pensioner poverty but still too many older people live in poverty – and the progress we have made risks being undermined by Westminster’s austerity agenda and welfare cuts.
“With the full powers of independence we could do even more to support our pensioners – including a triple lock on the state pension to keep pace with the cost of living and a review of the pension age – making our country a fairer place for pensioners and further tackling pensioner poverty.”