Wise Age continues to fight attacks on working people of all ages

Neil Moralee ImageAt present there are less than 50% of people aged 64+ who are in work as a result of ageist employment practices and prejudice. We at Wise Age have been fighting against extending the pension age until and unless the majority of people in their last year before their pension are in employment. The older you get after 50, if you lose your job, the less chance you have of getting another full time job again (by 60 that is a less than 8% chance). So why do they want to extend the pension age? This is not an economic argument but a political one, the Conservatives and the right wing media want to make this into an intergenerational conflict to deflect from the real conflict between the wealthy and the rest of us and to keep people from focusing on the impact of austerity.

The older generations do not cost the country money, on the contrary they make a positive economic contribution and if it were not for the 'silver economy' we would be in a major recession.

There are 71% of people aged 50-65 in work, who make a major contribution into the economy. Their presence in the workforce helps increase productivity, profitability and improves staff morale, with more younger people being taken on and trained when older people are retained. Yet of the 29% out of work only 10% receive unemployment benefit, because so many of us are forced onto other benefits or not claiming at all.

For those that are aged 65+ there are now 1.2 million still in work, but voluntarily, as they are able to retain their pensions and work, often flexibly, while continuing to pay their taxes. This voluntary option is working very well and should be encouraged. But to force people to carry on working - when there is not much work for them - and for the many that have been exhausted by hard manual labour or health conditions this is an unfair, unjust attack on their right to enjoy their final years on a decent income.

The reality for many pensioners is that they live under or very close to the poverty line and the majority of pensioners earn less than £12k per year.

This obscene proposal by rich entitled and brutal politicians is a continuation of the demolition of the welfare state and the right to basic living standards while the richest continue to receive tax loopholes and benefit entitlements such as the subsidies to landlords and employers.

Wise Age continues to fight this and other attacks on ordinary working people of all ages. Remember what the Tories want to do to our rights, protections and incomes next time you vote.

Wise Age & PAiL Oppose Withdrawal of Free TV Licences

BBC1 Colour Logo500We are completely opposed to the government's attempt to deny older people aged 75+ the right to free access to BBC services.

This is a government decision which breaks their own Manifesto commitment. They should not be allowed to pass the buck on this to the BBC who have their own cuts and needs to consider but should instead take responsibility to maintain the support given by the state to help older people access transport, heating and TV.

As many older people are increasingly socially isolated the TV is often their main company and entertainment and it is cruel to remove this. Also the majority of pensioners live on under £11,500 per year, with millions actually in poverty therefore the amount they will need to find to pay for their licence will be a significant drain on their very limited resources, unlike the situation of those in government and Parliament for whom such an amount is a drop in the ocean.

We are also very opposed to the attempts by government and sections of the media and politicians to try to create an artificial division between the old and the young. Attacking the rights of the old will not lead to increasing the rights and benefits of the young. What is required is intergenerational solidarity so that those at both ends of the age spectrum - particularly the majority who are facing insecurity in income, housing, health and community facilities - are supported through an end to austerity, an increase in local services and increased wages and benefits for all.

PDF FileApplication of the Public Sector Equality Duty: Consideration of Equality Issues in BBC Decision-Making in Relation to Age-Related Concessions for TV Licences

Everyone over 65 should get their flu jab

As only 70% of the over 65s have had their flu jab amidst a reduced promotional campaign Wise Age recommends that anyone over 65, under 5 or is at risk should get on down to their doctor or chemist and get their free flu jab.