Scottish Labour to use Holyrood powers to '˜top up' pensions

LABOUR has unveiled proposals to use Holyrood's new welfare powers to 'top up' the pensions of almost 100,000 Scots women who are poised to lose out under changes to the system.

Labour leader Kezia Dugdale announced plans to top up pensions for women. Picture: John Devlin

Party leader Kezia Dugdale has pledged to put older people at the heart of the party’s programme for Government setting out five pledges today on key issues including free personal care and free bus passes.

Ms Dugdale insists that the Labour proposals will “improve the lives of the next generation of older people”.

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The new single tier state pension being fastracked through, along with changes to the state pension age will see a cohort of about 96,000 Scots women lose out to their male counterparts, Labour say.

“The changes being made by the Tory Government will hit thousands of women across Scotland, who over the course of their life have paid into the system and done the right thing,” Ms Dugdale said.

“Through no fault of their own they are going to be worse off because of these changes.

“Labour has led the opposition to these cuts at Westminster and we’ll carry on fighting to make sure that these women are no worse off, but I’m not going to sit and wait on the Tories to do something when we have the power to act now.

“That’s why we’ll use the new powers of the Scottish Parliament to top up the pensions of these women and make sure that none of them are worse off. Labour will deliver real change, not warm words.”

Ms Dugdale unveiled five pledges which Labour is making to older Scots on a visit to the Daffodil Club in Glasgow’s Easterhouse area today.

These include a plan to ensure thousands of women do not lose out from the changes to the state pension, protect winter fuel payment and take action against fuel poverty. They also want to guarantee older people’s free bus passes and regulate buses to keep services reliable and regular. the party is also pledging to protect the NHS from cuts, support carers with a living wage and stop the cuts to the community services.