As an elderly Yes campaigner, I am concerned that the recent surge in support for independence may be undermined by people my age, since YouGov reported that, among those over 60, No is in the lead, while among all younger age groups Yes is in the lead.
Some senior citizens are afraid that independence will endanger their pensions, a fear stoked by the No side. But this scare story is simply false, as the UK government itself has admitted that independence will have no effect on existing state pensions in Scotland. But there are graver threats to us from a No vote, because of Westminster’s opposition to welfare.
The state pension, already classed as a “benefit”, could be means-tested, as recommended by the think-tank Civitas. It could be made conditional on workfare, as suggested in 2012 by Lord Bichard, “to encourage older people not just to be a negative burden on the state”. And NHS privatisation by Westminster, followed by budget cuts to Scotland, could pressure our NHS to adopt the age discrimination practised down south.