Later Life Ambitions - Election Toolkit
February 19, 2024
Later Life Ambitions (LLA) is determined to ensure that the voice of people in later life is heard during this upcoming General Election. LLA will remain focused on campaigning to ensure that older people across the country can lead fulfilling lives. LLA want all candidates to help change the terms of the debate to focus on the ambitions and hopes for the future rather than the perceived ‘costs’ to the rest of society.
LLA have prepared a toolkit and video to support members in engaging with local candidates in the election which includes guidance on how to find out who your local candidates are, how to contact them and what to say. It has been designed to be user-friendly and straightforward to help everyone have their voice heard.
LLA Statement on the Digital Inclusion Bill
December 8, 2023
Later Life Ambitions are alarmed to hear of Government initiated proposals that potentially open the door to means testing of the state pension and other benefits. We are, of course, opposed to this.
Our collective membership, and all current and future pensioners, will be rightly concerned by legislative amendments to the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which gives the Government access to pensioners’ bank accounts.
Whilst the DWP have sought to deny that changes to the universal nature of the state pension was the motive for these unprecedented data protection changes, we urge Ministers to put a statement on the record to this effect and properly explain why pensioners’ bank accounts are to be scrutinised in such a way.
We’re pleased that Sir Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the influential Commons Work and Pensions Committee, has identified the risks posed by these policies and has spoken out publicly.
It’s important to note that the Bill still needs to pass through the scrutiny of the House of Lords, so is not law yet. We urge Peers to review these amendments and revise the legislation when they have the opportunity and protect pensioners rights. We also call on MPs to ask Ministers directly what is the purpose of these changes through parliamentary questions and to insist they properly and straightforwardly debate issues around pensions as we approach a general election in 2024.
It’s clear that those in later life now and in the future deserve honesty, transparency and fairness. Ministers should provide assurances immediately on this vital issue and we will continue to call for politicians of all parties to consider the vital importance of the views of people in later life in all their policy decisions and manifestos going forward.
State Pension Increases by 8.5% from April 24
November 23, 2023
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement 2023 in the House of Commons yesterday setting out the government's tax and spending plans for the year ahead which included an 8.5% increase to the state pension, in line with the triple lock. To view the full autumn statement just click the image on the left.
Pensioners' Manifesto Launched In Westminster
November 21, 2023
Without a single, authoritative voice to speak up and advocate for older people, the issues faced in later life can easily be ignored or simply overlooked by decision-makers. Older people in England and Scotland need a commissioner.
Later Life Ambitions (LLA) brings together the collective voices of over a quarter of a million pensioners through the NFOP, Civil Service Pensioners Alliance (CSPA) and National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO).
The Pensioners' Manifesto, written by LLA, NFOP, CSPA and NARPO, lays out our vision for a better deal for older people and was formally launched in Westminster on November 21, 2023, at a very well-supported event in the Thames Pavilion. The launch was opened by The Right Honourable Sir Stephen Timms MP, Chair of the Work & Pensions Select Committee and featured a host of passionate and influential guest speakers including Sammy Wilson MP, DUP Spokesperson on Work & Pensions, Claire Hanna MP, SDLP Belfast South, Gill Furniss MP, Shadow Pensions Minister, David Linden MP, SNP Westminster Spokesperson on Social Justice and our celebrity ambassador Sandie Shaw.
If you would like a printed copy of the Pensioners' Manifesto please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01582 721652
Sir Stephen Timms MP
Claire Hanna MP
Richard Pollock, Eamonn Donaghy - NFOP, Gaynor Garton - Square7 Media
Steve Turner EC, Paul Hands EC Chair & Eamonn Donaghy CEO - NFOP
David Linden MP
Sammy Wilson MP
Gill Furniss MP
The Thames Pavillion
November 19, 2023
Pop Icon Sandie Shaw & NFOP CEO Eamonn Donaghy Remind Politicians Triple Lock Is Key
Pop icon Sandie Shaw is helping launch the 'pensioners manifesto' in Westminster this Tuesday 21st November as reported in the Sunday Express. ' This manifesto makes clear that older people don't just have ambitions to live full and fulfilling lives but we stand ready to contribute to society, the economy and the country in general' the star said. Eamonn Donaghy said 'keeping the triple lock is the key to victory at the next election' ... read the Sunday Express article here and here
PENSIONSAge report that Paul Maynard is confirmed as Minister for Pensions
MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Paul Maynard, has been appointed as the new Pensions Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). His appointment was announced following the news that former Pensions Minister, Laura Trott, had been promoted to the role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury as part of Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak’s, latest ministerial reshuffle... click here to read more
Rail Ticket Offices Open Across England
The government has announced that plans to close hundreds of rail ticket offices across England have been scrapped. This follows warnings from MP’s that the proposed plans went “too far, too fast”. NFOP welcomes this news as we believe it would have adversely affected many older people and people with disabilities.
However we believe that issues still remain including ticket machine capability and accessibility and how passenger access and information will be delivered in the future.To read the full article from BBC News, click here
Unseen Faces of The Rising Older Rental Wave
A growing number of older people on low incomes are renting privately but their stories are often hidden and rarely part of the housing conversation. Eamonn Donaghy CEO of the NFOP reported in his column on page 7 of the September edition of The NFOP Magazine that 'over the last decade the number of people aged 50 to 64 renting has nearly doubled and are most at risk of falling into long term poverty beyond state pension age'
Independent Age want to amplify the voices of this hidden group, from their concerns about affording rent to their fears around the security and quality of their home. Click here to read more from Independent Age and download their full report on 'Hidden Renters'
State Pensions To Cost More Than Education, Policing & Defence
The Times has reported that the Government is predicted to spend more on pensions than the budgets of the Department for Education, the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence combined in 2025. Last year pension costs increased to £110 billion and are expected to increase to £135 billion by 2025, whereas the combined departmental costs are predicted to be £133 billion.
The increase in pension costs is due in part to an ageing population. Between April 2026 and 2028 the state pension age will increase to 67, with plans to raise it to 68 between 2044 and 2046. Both Labour and Conservatives have committed to keeping the triple lock until 2030.
Commenting on the Times’ analysis, Sir Steve Webb, former Liberal Democrat minister for pensions, said, “Pensioners are a protected group electorally, so the state pension gets protected. The NHS is a kind of national religion and is protected. And therefore everything else gets squeezed. The time will come when none of those things can be squeezed anymore, and that’s when the crunch really comes.”
Similarly, conservative peer, Baroness Altmann criticised the triple lock saying it is “unsustainable” and proposed a double lock system based on inflation and earnings as well as raising the number of years of national insurance contributions needed to qualify for a state pension.
A Government source said, “That’s the cost that comes with protecting the old. They can’t get jobs, most people can, for many it’s their only sole source of income.”
Finalising The Pensioner Manifesto
The NFOP are joining other age sector organisations in calling for an Independent Commissioner for Older People & Ageing as part of an overall strategy to tackle the challenges faced by older people now and in the future.
At the recent quarterly meeting of the Later Life Ambitions Partners, facilitated by Connect PA, NFOP CEO Eamonn Donaghy, Alan Lees CEO, NARPO and David Luxton Deputy General Secretary, CSPA took the opportunity to finalise work on our Pensioner Manifesto which is due to be launched on 21st November at an event in Westminster.