Tuesday 10 December 2013
‘Hands Off’ is the clear message coming from older people in Northern Ireland and across the UK, as a new nation‑wide campaign is launched today defending 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 at www.handsoff.org.uk.
The ‘Hands Off’ campaign is being officially backed by Age Sector Platform in Northern Ireland, the National Pensioners’ Convention, the Welsh Senate of Older People and the Scottish Seniors Alliance.
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.”