Party promises to raise pensions by breaking link with national insurance

The “gross pensions injustice” faced by carers and women would end
under the Liberal Democrats, delegates were told.

Steve Webb, the party’s spokesperson on work and pensions, said
that by basing pensions on residency rather than national insurance
contributions, women and carers would not be penalised for time
spent bringing up children or caring for relatives.

Under the new policy, all single pensioners older than 75 would
gain an extra £25 a week and couples who are older than 75
would gain £33 more.

The party also aims to help pensioners by replacing council tax
with a local income tax that it says is based on “people’s ability
to pay” rather than the size of their home.

“Council tax is increasing at more than double the rate of
pensions,” said Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat spokesperson on
older people.

“This means that most pensioners are spending a larger proportion
of their income on council tax than ever before, leaving less cash
for essentials.”

Meanwhile, the party reiterated its pledge to provide free personal
care for all older people and disabled people, claiming the policy
would break down “artificial barriers” between the funding of
health and social care. Personal care is currently free only in

Gidley said: “The state provides all health and personal care for
someone with an acute illness in hospital.

“It is absolutely unfair to deny that right for someone in a
nursing home with a long-term condition.”

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