“This is a direct attack on the older generation by a bunch of unelected politicians who are happy to claim over £300 for sleeping in the House of Lords”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest), commenting on a recent report from a House of Lords committee which called for certain age-related benefits to be scrapped.
The Committee on Intergenerational Fairness has suggested that free tv licences, winter fuel payments and free buses passes for over 65s should be ended and the money spent on housing and training for young people. They also want the triple lock on the state pension (which guarantees that the pension will rise by a minimum of 2.5% per year) should be reconsidered. Unsurprisingly this committee is chaired by a Tory peer, Lord True, also includes Labour and Liberal Democrat members of the House of Lords.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:
“This proposal could only come from unelected members of the House of Lords who get paid £300 for simply turning up to their place of work, even though some of them do little when there and many have been caught asleep in the chamber.
“It doesn’t matter how much you disagree with these proposals, no one can deselect these political dinosaurs or vote for anyone to replace them. This is why there is such a democratic deficit in UK politics.
“These proposals are aimed at attacking the older generation some of whom have already been denied their full state pension when they retire due to the WASPI scandal. The TV licence is already under threat as the UK Government passed the responsibility for the free tv licences for over 75s to the BBC and they are keen to cut it irrespective of what anyone thinks.
“You would have to be naive to believe that any money saved from these cuts would go to the younger generation, it will simply be syphoned off and used for cutting taxes for the rich or for businesses. There shouldn’t be a debate about cutting benefits for one section of our community in order to support another section. If the UK Government bothered to tackle the estimated £120 billion in tax dodging that has been reported by the TUC for years, then there would be plenty of money to improve services for younger and older people.
“It will be interesting to hear from the candidates for the main UK parties at the EU election if they support these policies – and if not, why did their representatives in the House of Lords suggest this move?”