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David Cameron launches pensioner pledge to rebut Labour smears about Tory policy as he says Brown should be ashamed of his record on the elderly

CAMERON-DAVID-RED-TIE One of the most unsavoury aspects of contemporary political campaigns is when politicians effectively attempt to scare vulnerable groups into voting a certain way.

Labour has regularly claimed of late - Tim highlighted the matter earlier in the week - that pensioners would have all sorts of entitlements withdrawn by a Conservative Government - in the same way that Labour continually scare-mongered during the London Mayoral election in 2008 that Boris Johnson would remove the Freedom Pass from pensioners.

With that in mind, David Cameron is today publishing the following pensioner pledge which sets out once and for all the promises he is making to Britain's pensioners:

“The Government I lead will make sure that older and retired people are treated with dignity and given the quality of life they deserve. This is my pledge to support pensioners.

My Government will:

  • Increase the value of the basic state pension for all pensioners and help to stop the spread of the means test by linking pensions to earnings. You won’t get a repeat of Labour’s mean 75p rise with us.
  • Freeze council tax for the next two years, in partnership with your council.
  • Make it worthwhile to save for a personal pension and get rid of the rules that force people to get a compulsory annuity.
  • Help people protect their home rather than have to sell it to pay for care.
  • Take all family homes worth less than £1 million out of inheritance tax.
  • Increase spending on the NHS every year, which is our number one priority.
  • Cut paperwork so we get more police out on the beat fighting crime.

Our opponents are trying to scare older people by telling deliberate lies about our plans. So here is a personal promise, from me, about the things we will protect.

  • I will protect your Winter Fuel Payment.
  • I will protect your free bus pass and your free TV licence.
  • I will protect the pension credit.

These vital benefits will not be cut under the Conservatives. You have my word on it.

If he wins the election, Gordon Brown wants to introduce a number of measures which will hit pensioners: A Conservative Government will not penalise pensioners, as Labour are planning to do:

  • We will NOT introduce a ‘death tax’ of up to £50,000.
  • We will NOT cut attendance allowance and disability allowance for the over 65s.
  • We can afford to make these pledges because we have found the money from other areas, like cutting government waste and bringing forward the date at which the state pension age will rise to 66.”  

Speaking at an event to launch the pledge, the Tory leader was scathing about the Government's record of supporting pensioners:

"I think this Government has got a lot of things wrong. But when I think of how they have treated the elderly, I think they should be ashamed of themselves. Those are strong words I know, but that’s how strongly I feel about this. We hear the Prime Minister talking about his moral compass. But when we have more pensioners living in poverty than anywhere else in Western Europe, when his £100 billion tax raid has destroyed private pensions, when more and more people have been dragged into the hated means test, when social care penalises those who have worked hard and saved hard by forcing them to sell their home, when Gordon Brown now proposes a new death tax, taking up to £50,000 of your estate when you die to pay for your care, when some of our eldest and most vulnerable people are too scared to walk along streets they’ve lived on for decades, just where is that compass pointing? Just whose side is he on?"

“Labour aren’t being straight with you about what they’re doing. And they’re not being straight with you about what we plan either. They’re going around scaring pensioners, telling you that the Conservatives are going to cut the Winter Fuel Allowance, cut pension credit and end free bus travel and TV licences for over-75s, you must not believe them. I can promise you – these are lies, lies, lies. You have my word. If we win the election, we will protect all of these things."

Jonathan Isaby


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