Nicola Sturgeon: Tory treatment of OAPs is ‘national scandal’

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Nicola Sturgeon has described the Conservatives’ treatment of pensioners as “a national scandal”.

Scotland’s First Minister believes the party will use a General Election victory on June 8 to “betray pensioners yet again”.

Plans to increase the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020 were initially set out in 1995.

But the coalition government decided to speed up the process in 2011, resulting in the state pension age for women due to increase to 65 in November 2018 and to 66 by October 2020.

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Ms Sturgeon said: “The treatment of pensioners by this Tory government has been nothing short of a national scandal.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believes the Tories will 'betray penisoners yet again". Picture: Lisa Ferguson

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believes the Tories will 'betray penisoners yet again". Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“Millions of women have been denied their rightful state pension - the WASPI campaign has worked tirelessly to highlight their plight, but Theresa May’s government has coldly brushed aside their concerns.

“And now - in this election - it appears that the Tories are hoping to quietly ditch their commitment to the triple lock.

“The triple lock was supported by all parties precisely because it was crucial in tackling the low incomes that are a reality in too many pensioner households.

“With pensioner poverty on the rise across the UK, any more Tory attacks on pensions are the last thing we need.

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“The Tories found the money to cut taxes for the rich in their budget, but seem unwilling to find the money to give state pensioners a decent income - no government which believes in a fair society could pursue those two positions.

“A vote for the SNP in this election is a vote to stand up for older people across Scotland, for fair pensions, and to stop a Tory betrayal in its tracks.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will attack the SNP and Tories on the election campaign trail.

In a speech to the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in Aviemore, Ms Dugdale is expected to say: “The Government’s handling of Brexit has shown us the risks they’re willing to take with our country’s economy.

“Threatening to walk away from the EU without a deal is no better than Nicola Sturgeon’s threat to walk away from the UK with independence.

“Both would lead to job losses and even more austerity than we’re already facing.

“And the UK Government’s refusal to take EU nationals off the table as bargaining chips is just another example of its lack of compassion.

“That’s why I’m proud that Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, made absolutely clear that we would unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU migrants on day one of a Labour government.

“Because it is the right thing to do.

“These are people who have chosen to come to the UK, to make their lives here, to raise families and contribute to our economy here.

“We shouldn’t then make them bargaining chips in our negotiations with the EU.

“Ruth Davidson must now commit the Tories to providing the same guarantee in her party’s manifesto.

“After her defence of the abhorrent rape clause, anything else would add to the growing evidence that she isn’t a different kind of Tory after all.”