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Gavin Newlands MP: Only the SNP will protect the Triple Lock on Pensions

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North has described the Conservative government’s attack on state pensions as “a national scandal” – and warned that the Tories will use an election victory to betray pensioners yet again. Millions of women born in the 1950s have been denied their rightful state pensions after bearing the brunt of hurriedly-introduced changes – an issue which the WASPI group has been campaigning vociferously against. Mr Newlands has been working with the WASPI campaign since 2015, raising the issue in Parliament on several occasions. With a general election now called for June 8th, both Theresa May and Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green have refused to confirm if they will keep the triple lock, which ensures the state pension rises in line with average earnings, inflation or 2.5% - whichever is the highest. A report published yesterday by Age Scotland revealed that over 200,000 pensioners in Scotland are struggling financially, and highlighted a rise in pensioner poverty across the UK. Gavin Newlands MP highlighted the SNP Scottish government’s strong record for pensioners – including protecting and investing in Free Personal and Nursing Care for the elderly, protecting Winter Fuel Payments and working with Age Scotland to increase the uptake of financial support available to older people. Gavin Newlands said: “The treatment of pensioners by this Tory government has been nothing short of a national scandal. Millions of women have been denied their rightful state pension – the WASPI campaign has worked tirelessly to highlight their plight, but Theresa May’s government has coldly brushed aside their concerns. “And now it appears that the Tories are hoping to quietly ditch their commitment to the triple lock. “The triple lock was supported by all parties precisely because it was crucial in tackling the low incomes that are a reality in too many pensioner households. “With pensioner poverty on the rise across the UK, any more Tory attacks on pensions are the last thing we need. “The Tories found the money to cut taxes for the rich in their budget, but seem unwilling to find the money to give state pensioners a decent income – no government which believes in a fair society could pursue those two positions. “A vote for the SNP in this election is a vote to stand up for older people across Scotland, for fair pensions, and to stop a Tory betrayal in its tracks.”

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