The NPC has written to every MP calling on them to protect and support Universal entitlements. We would ask that you follow up with your MP and let us know their response.
You can read and download the template letter below. To find your MP seach on https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons
Dear Member of Parliament
As the largest campaigning organisation in the UK for older people, representing around 1.2 million pensioners, we at the NPC are writing to ask for your understanding and support for our concerns about the safety of universal entitlements, realising that social welfare is the sole remit of the government in power and not an unelected agency.
Universal entitlements are not ‘benefits’ or ‘perks’ as they are often referred to in the media and by think tanks. They exist to supplement the most inadequate state pension in the economically developed world and include the free TV licence to over 75s; free bus travel, winter fuel payments; free prescriptions and eye tests.
The benefits to the health and well-being of older people and their contribution to the economy are well researched with the bus pass generating £2.97 for every £1 invested. The winter fuel payment gives a little help towards making it possible for older people to heat their homes.
However, on 1st August this year, the free TV licence for all over 75s ended and a new means-tested system took its place. This was not included in the government’s manifesto and indeed Prime Minister Johnson said it was crucial to retain the free TV licence for all over 75s with many MPs on both sides of the House agreeing with him. But, the responsibility had already been handed over to the BBC by Theresa May and the current administration refused to change this with the BBC being blamed for the cut.
Our objective is to promote the welfare and interests of all pensioners as a way of securing dignity, respect and financial security in retirement. With 1.9 million older people living on or below the poverty line, and millions of older people struggling with debilitating illnesses, isolation and loneliness in their retirement years, we are sure you understand our very real concerns.
As an MP, you represent thousands of older people and their families in your constituency. We are therefore asking you to:
a) Ensure that responsibility and accountability for the free TV licence for over 75s is taken back and fully funded by the government.
b) Ensure that the remaining universal entitlements are upheld and protected by the government and not handed over to an unelected agency.
We hope you will respond positively to our request as soon as possible in order that we can let our members know that they are supported by their parliamentary representatives at this very difficult time.
Download a copy of the letter below