Labour has launched its manifesto for Older people.

Its main provisions will
• Triple lock pensions so that they rise by earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is the highest.
• Implement a tough cap on fees and charges in the private pensions market.
• Restrict winter fuel payments for the richest five per cent of pensioners to help pay down the deficit, but guarantee no further changes to winter fuel payments, free TV licenses, or free bus passes.
• Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours.
• Join up services from home to hospital with a single point of contact for all who need it.
• End the culture of 15 minute care visits, and improve standards in the care industry.
• Support older workers who want to help care for their grandchildren, consulting on allowing grandparents to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave.
• Introduce an independent Commissioner for Older People in England.
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We’ll protect pensioners’ living standards. We’re proud of our record of improving pensioners’ living standards. The last Labour Government introduced Pension Credit to boost the incomes of the worst off, brought in new support for all pensioners through Winter Fuel Payments, free bus passes, and free TV licenses for over 75 year olds.
But with 1.9 million pensioners still living in poverty there’s further to go. Labour will protect the state pension, ensuring that it rises by earnings, inflation, or 2.5 per cent, whichever is highest. And while we’ve taken the difficult decision to restrict winter fuel payments for the richest five per cent of pensioners in order to help pay down the deficit, we will guarantee no further changes to winter fuel payments, or older people’s bus passes or TV licenses.

We’ll invest in our NHS and make sure it has time to care. Older people need to know that the NHS will be there when they need it. But under this Government the NHS has faced increasing pressures and is under threat. Labour has a fully funded plan to invest in our NHS, with 8,000 more doctors, 20,000 more nurses, and 5,000 more home care workers. And we’ll give people peace of mind, with a guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours, and cancer tests within a week. [Much more detail of our NHS plans can be found here.]

We have a better plan for social care. Our plan to join up services from home to hospital is vital to improve the social care services that many older people rely on. Our manifesto pledges to end the clock-watch social care culture that results in visits lasting only 15 minutes. And we’ll give people with complex conditions a single point of contact for their care, and a personalised care plan, developed with them and their family.

We’ll support older people to lead active lives. Too many older people find that their desire to contribute is frustrated by a system that doesn’t give them the respect they deserve. We will help older people who want to stay at work with action to strengthen the law against discrimination. And we’ll help grandparents who want to help look after their grandchildren, consulting on allowing grandparents to share in parents’ unpaid leave.

We’ll make sure older people have a champion at the heart of government. We need an independent voice to stick up for older people’s interests, across government and in public life. So Labour will appoint a new independent Commissioner for Older People in England, so that older people’s voices can be heard..

You can read more extensive extracts below.

The full manifesto is here – A Better Future for Older People

From the birth of our welfare state onwards, the British people have always believed that looking after people as they get older is one of the first responsibilities of government.
Labour remains committed to that founding principle.

If you agree with our policies, help us to secure a Labour government by voting Labour in this election. You can also support the campaign for Alex Sobel to win here in Leeds NW – sign up now.

Extracts
Protecting Pensioners’ Living Standards.

In Britain today
• 1.9 million pensioners still live in poverty.
• Energy Bills have risen by £300 on average since 2010.
• The Government’s failure to act on fees and charges in the pensions market has cost savers up to £750.

Labour will
• Triple lock pensions so that they rise by earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is the highest.
• Cap fees and charges in retirement income products.
• Restrict winter fuel payments for the richest five per cent of pensioners to help pay down the deficit, but guarantee no further changes to winter fuel payments, free TV licenses, or free bus passes.
• Freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017, allowing them to fall but not rise, while we reform the broken energy market.
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An NHS with time to care

Labour will
• Recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 5,000 new home care workers.
• Guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours.
• Guarantee cancer tests within one week.

A Better Plan for Social Care
Older people know how vital the social care system is for them and their family. But over the last five years, deep cuts to local authority budgets that pay for social care have left the system close to collapse.

In Britain today:
• 300,000 fewer older people are receiving care since 2010.
• Many more face inadequate 15 minute visits from home care workers.
• There are 6.5 million unpaid carers, many of whom receive no support.

Labour will
• Join up services from home to hospital with a single point of contact for all who need it. that more can be done early to prevent illness or step in to prevent problems getting worse. We will introduce a system of safety checks for older people who are vulnerable, identifying risks to their health and preventing problems such as loneliness and depression from escalating. And we’ll give people with complex conditions a single point of contact for their care, and a personalised care plan, developed with them and their family, and tailored to personal circumstances.
• End the culture of 15 minute care visits, and improve standards in the care industry. by improving commissioning practices, tackling workforce exploitation and increasing training opportunities. This includes measures to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, strengthen enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, and create new apprenticeships and more opportunities for progression to ensure the care workforce has the skills they need to provide high standards of care.

We also need to do far more to support the unpaid carers who make a vital contribution to Britain today. For too long, family carers have been invisible in the system, without the support they need. Labour will introduce a new duty on GPs and hospitals to identify family carers, so they get the right support, and a new right for carers to ask for an annual health check. We will ring fence the money councils receive for Carers Breaks to ensure that at least £130m a year is spent on breaks to help with respite care. we will abolish the bedroom tax which has hit 60,000 carers, penalising them for the extra facilities they need.
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Active Later Lives
Older people have a huge amount to contribute, but too often are held back by a system that doesn’t give them the respect they deserve. Many face active discrimination in the workplace and are under-represented in the media and in public life. The welfare-to-work system does not offer tailored support for older people, and an outdated family leave system fails to recognise the valuable role many play in caring for their grandchildren.

In Britain today:
• Older people, and particularly older women are under-represented in
public life. For example, Labour’s Older Women’s Commission found that just five per cent of journalists are women over 50.
• 1.9 million grandparents have given up a job, reduced their hours, or taken time off work to look after their grandchildren.
• More than half of all mothers rely on grandparents for childcare when they first go back to work after maternity leave, while two-thirds of grandparents with grandchildren aged under-16 provide some childcare.
• The last Government’s failed Work Programme has helped just one in seven over 50s into work.

Labour will
• Strengthen the law against discrimination at work, by implementing the dual discrimination provisions of the Equality Act which help protect those who may face discrimination because of more than one characteristic, for example, both age and gender, or age and disability
• Give better support to older people who lose their job, including a higher Jobseeker’s Allowance for those who have contributed over the years.
• Support older workers who want to help care for their grandchildren, consulting on what flexibilities would work make the system work better for families and businesses given changing patterns of care, including allowing grandparents who want to be more involved in caring for their grandchildren to share in parents’ unpaid parental leave.
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Giving Older People a Voice
With an ageing population, we need to ensure that older people have a champion who will stick up for their interests right across Government.
The last Labour Government In 2000 appointed an Older People’s ‘Tsar’ at the Department for Health in 2000, and in 2008 we asked Dame Joan Bakewell to act as a voice for older people across Government.
But we need to go further – to give Older People a strong voice at the heart of government.

Labour will appoint a new Independent Commissioner for Older People in England.
This would build on the success of Older People’s Commissioners in Wales and Northern Ireland. The commissioner will have responsibility for:
• Promoting awareness of the rights and interests of older people in England
• Challenging discrimination against older people in England.
• Encouraging best practice in the treatment of older people, including in our health and social care services.

One thought on “Labour’s plan for Older People: Triple lock on pensions, end to 15-min care visits, support for active life, a voice at heart of government

  1. As a retired person I say to this ‘great’. Cameron kept trumpeting that he was helping pensioners. What he meant was ‘soon-to-be pensioners’. Nothing for the rest of us. Also some of us live in fear that as he closes the NHS down, essential medication or treatment for (eg) diabetics, people who have had thyroid glands removed, dialysis etc would be lost or too expensive.

    It is a brilliant plan. Keep pushing, Ed. We need you!

    Sent from my iPad.
    Pat Sanderson
    9 Oakland Ave
    Hatfield
    Doncaster
    DN76JL
    pat@soidisant.co.uk

    >

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