Nicola Sturgeon says SNP manifesto will defend pensioners

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to defend pensioners in Scotland in the SNP's General Election manifesto as she branded Tory policies for the elderly as a 'disgrace'.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon . Picture: PAScotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon . Picture: PA
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon . Picture: PA

Ms Sturgeon has revealed key pledges aimed at older people ahead of the launch of the SNP’s General Election manifesto on Tuesday.

The promises follow confirmation that the Conservatives plan to end the triple lock on pensions after 2020 and limit winter fuel payments to the poorest elderly people in England and Wales.

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Theresa May has also announced changes to payments for social care south of the border, which will see many people paying for more of their home care.

Ms Sturgeon said the policies showed that her Tory rivals “cannot be trusted to care for our older people”.

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Why the pensions ‘triple lock’ has become a key general election issue

The SNP manifesto will commit to “demanding the retention of the triple lock on the state pension”, which guarantees an increase in the state pension every year by inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%.

Mrs May wants a double lock, with increases in line with inflation or earnings, while Labour and the Lib Dems also back the triple lock. The SNP will oppose moves to increase the state pension age beyond 66 and support so-called “WASPI women” born in the 1950s, who will lose out from the planned equalisation of the state pension age.

The party is also committed to maintaining universal winter fuel payments and extending the eligibility to families with “severely disabled children.” While the fuel payment is to be means-tested in England and Wales, the Scottish Tories have promised to keep the £300 benefit north of the border.