Please see the below message from Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary.
I have just sent this personal letter (see below) to my MP in relation to the third reading of the Bill in parliament scheduled for the afternoon of Monday 8 November. Time is short and after the huge debate and support in the House of Lords, it is now MPs who will determine the nature of the rise in pensions for 2022. It is not clear if the amendments sent from the House of Lords will be admitted for debate next Monday.
I am sharing this letter with you and asking that you and everyone you have contact with sends it (or one of your own choosing saying how it impacts on your ability to pay your bills etc) to your MP. We know that if MPs get lots of letters about something, they know they need to act.
This is our last chance, so please make sure we get a huge number of letters to MPs. This is not something we can afford to let go.
I am personally assured of my MPs support, but we know that there is a huge majority in parliament.
Thank you in advance.
Download the letter or read it below.
Dear (Member of Parliament),
Re: Social Security (Uprating of Benefits) Bill
I am writing to you to urge you to consider very deeply the vote that you cast on the above Bill when it comes before you next week.
The issue of the ‘suspension’ of the triple lock to safeguard the state pension is one that I am concerned to raise with you, particularly given that it breaks a Manifesto promise that I cannot be sure the government will reinstate in 2023.
It must be said that we have the richest Chancellor of the Exchequer in history, a Prime Minister who claims he cannot live on his £157,000-plus salary, and a Secretary of State for Work and Pensions who claimed over £200,000 in expenses whilst planning cuts in Universal Credit and pensions. So how on earth can this government have any understanding of those, like most pensioners, who live on £10,000 a year or less?
Not all pensioners are wealthy – only 545,000 of them pay tax at the higher rates, with around 6 million pensioners not earning enough to pay any tax at all.
Whilst Pension Credit is a lifeline for some older people, there is a population of pensioners who have income just above the threshold. These are the pensioners being pushed into poverty by having to pay for their over 75’s TV licence; ongoing increases in outgoings and the overwhelming cost of utility bills.
The ONS have now said that the average earnings level has been overstated and that inflation is around 5.1%. When you debate the Bill, please think about those in your constituency that you have the power to give a slightly higher increase than normal. This will require you to be as strong in your resolve as the House of Lords have been in debating and attempting to bring amendments to the Bill.
The UK is not a good place to grow old in, but you can change that perspective by voting against a Bill that hurts the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
I would also urge you to vote down the reduction in Universal Credit at a time when families are struggling with inflation, low pay and rising bills. We are still a rich nation despite the pandemic, and it is time to share the wealth.
The general public are in line with retaining the triple lock, so decisions made now may well be remembered at the ballot box. Please think carefully before casting your vote.