There is still plenty of time to show your support for the UK-wide ‘Hands Off’ campaign, defending the need for universal pensioner benefits.
‘Hands Off’ is the clear message coming from older people across the UK campaigning to defend the need for benefits such as the winter fuel payment and bus pass.
The ‘Hands Off’ campaign, which has already been backed by some of the most influential older people’s organisations in the UK, aims to safeguard benefits such as the winter fuel payment, bus pass, free prescriptions and TV licences after the 2015 general election.
Following comments made by the main political parties at Westminster indicating these benefits may be under threat, the campaign will emphasise their importance in achieving a decent standard of living for millions of pensioners across the UK, whilst also highlighting the costs and barriers associated with means-testing such benefits.
People of all ages are encouraged to sign the online e-petition and to email their local MP via the campaign website.
Nixon Armstrong from Age Sector Platform commented: “During the last year, pensioners have felt under constant attack. The myth that older people have escaped any austerity measures is totally groundless, and we will fight to ensure there are no further cuts or means-testing of vital benefits such as the winter fuel payment, bus pass, free prescriptions or TV licences. We call on every individual, regardless of age, to support us in our campaign to ensure these benefits are maintained for pensioners now and in the years to come.”
John Vincent from the Welsh Senate of Older People commented: “We are very conscious of the unfair allegations that pensioners are not touched by austerity measures. We obviously are affected in many ways. People who make these allegations seem to conveniently forget that many of today’s pensioners experienced real hardship during the war years and all of us can remember the austerity of the post-war period. Pensioners are tired of feeling like a burden on society; we make a huge contribution and that surely should be recognised?”
Agnes McGroarty from the Scottish Seniors Alliance said: “All of the main political parties at Westminster have indicated that universal pensioner benefits may be under threat following the next general election, so we must make our voice heard now. Millionaire pensioners have been used as justification for further cuts or means-testing, but this campaign represents the views of real pensioners who are already struggling to make ends meet.”
What you can do to help:
- Visit the www.handsoff.org.uk website
- Sign the online e-petition, which closes on 10th May
- Write an e-mail or letter to your local MP (through the website)
- Follow the campaign on Twitter @supporthandsoff
- Pledge your organisation/group’s official support for the campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using website contact form
- Promote the campaign among your group members, family and friends (anyone of any age can support the campaign!)
- Contact your local newspaper to tell them about the campaign
A paper version of its online petition is available until the autumn of this year.
If you would like to sign the paper petition and circulate it to friends and family, please download a copy from the Hands Off website at: www.handsoff.org.uk/paper-petition.