We find out how the nation’s leading over-60s campaign organisation can help you. Dennis Reed, director of Silver Voices, explains why park home residents can benefit from joining the group more than most…
Silver Voices is the UK-wide campaign organisation for the over-60s, and senior citizens living in park homes will benefit from our campaigns more than most. If you are not already one of our members, I hope to convince you that it is in the best interests of all of us to band together to combat age discrimination in
all its forms.
Silver Voices has been leading the battle to improve the low level of the basic state pension, which is the root cause of so many older people living in poverty. It was Silver Voices’ research that exposed that the much-quoted top state pension rate of £185 is only received by one in 20 state pensioners and that 87 per cent are on the much lower £142 ‘old’ state pension or less.
Pensions in a state
The UK state pension is the worst in the developed world and, in these circumstances, it was an outrage that the triple lock safeguard was suspended by the Government this year, resulting in a 3.1 per cent rise in your pension, when inflation is already running at around 10 per cent.
Silver Voices has been calling for a flat rate pension increase this year to make good these losses. We are also campaigning for a minimum pension guarantee of at least £200 per week for all state pensioners, to remove the unfair distinction between the old and new state pensions.
Another key priority for us is to tackle the collapsing social care system. The previous Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘fix social care once and for all’ has, like so many other promises to older people, not materialised.
More than 1.5 million older people are not receiving the social care support they need for a dignified and comfortable retirement, and thousands linger too long in hospital beds because there is no support for them at home. The knock-on effect of the social care crisis is a major contributory factor in the pressures on accident and emergency, the ambulance service, and the huge waiting lists for NHS operations.
Alone among older people’s organisations, Silver Voices has campaigned for the restoration of free TV licences for the over 75s, which were abolished two years ago. Our campaign has been so successful that no over-75 household anywhere in the UK has yet been prosecuted for non-payment of the licence fee, even though hundreds of thousands have refused, or been unable, to pay up. The Government and the BBC are so worried about the political ramifications of taking vulnerable households to court, that they have introduced an unofficial amnesty. If the licence fee is eventually replaced by another form of television tax, we will still argue that older people should be exempted, having paid the licence fee for so many years when they were working.
Read more in the October 2022 issue of Park Home & Holiday Living