North West Region Retired Members’ Secretary, gives his personal view of the Tory government and why we need a change urgently:
Theresa May’s announcement calling a General Election for the 8th June is a welcome opportunity to get rid of this divisive government.
Since 2010 everyone apart from the very rich have had to endure attacks that divide young and old, able and disabled, sick and well, employed and unemployed all in the name of austerity.
Stealthily the Torys have cut Local Government funding by millions year on year causing closures of libraries, Sure Start projects and day care centres. Social Care has been starved of funds causing a poorly performing service heroically staffed by under paid, overworked, badly trained carers who do their level best for the people in need of care wether that be domiciliary or residential.
And when Social Services can’t cope who picks up the pieces? Why, the NHS of course. Itself underfunded in spite of what the lying Torys tell us is forced to find beds for the elderly infirm who are then divisively accused of bed blocking.
Both the government and the media portray Adult Social Care as being for Alzheimer and dementia sufferers. You see, even debilitating conditions are used to divide. We shouldn’t forget either that Adult Social Care is for all those over the age of 18 who need it. It’s not just for pensioners who have everything already, don’t they?
There are 1.9 million pensioners in this country living in relative poverty. A figure that has risen by 300,000 in the last year. Why, in the 6th richest economy in the world, can we not find the resources to ensure our older people can live securely with dignity? Our State Pension stands 32nd out of the 34 OECD countries. The much vaunted Triple Lock has been of beneficial to the State Pension increase only once since its introduction. In all other years the 2.5% increase introduced by Gordon Brown in 2001 has pertained.
But this government divisively tells people pensioners are getting richer on the backs of their grand children. They cut Child Tax Credit, housing benefit and education budgets and blame grandma who has her income protected via the Triple Lock and Universal Benefits like Winter Fuel Allowance, Bus Pass and Free TV licence for over 75’s. None of those “benefits” would be needed if Thatcher had not cut the link between the State Pension and Earnings in 1981.
No, the Torys have only ever looked after their own and I relish the opportunity to get rid of them from Government. The Labour Party, Trade Unions and others of like mind need to stand together united to grasp this opportunity to build a society for the millions not the millionaires.