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STUC 2008



Restore pensions link

by John Stevenson

Irene Sweeney
Irene Sweeney

The STUC will continue to campaign for the State Pension to be linked to average earnings or prices, whichever is the higher.

It also called for an end to means testing and discrimination against women pensioners due to caring responsibilities.

The motion from ASLEF was supported by UNISON retired member Irene Sweeney who said, "This year we celebrate 100 years of state pension. I say celebrate because usually a centenary is something to have a party about - but there is no partying going on in the homes of the two million pensioners living in poverty in 2008".

"The state pension is worth less in relation to average earnings than it was in 1908", said Irene.

In 1979, the state pension was 23% of average earnings, climbing towards the 33% that the Labour party wanted. Yet now it stood at only 14% of male average earnings, claimed Irene.

"Women are the poorest pensioners because they have had breaks in employment for child care and later in life as carers for elderly relatives", she explained.

"Remember, pensioners are fighting for the pensions of our children and grandchildren. We are fighting for your pensions", she added.


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