New Communist Party of Britain
This is just one section of the Main Political Resolution adopted at the 2009 16th Congress of the New Communist Party of Britain.
An index to the other sections can be found here -> [2009 Policy Documents]
The main issue for the elderly is that of pensions. The state basic pension is £90.70. For those with no other income there is a guarantee credit giving a weekly income of £130.
Considering that the official poverty level is £151 per week, it is time for a change in the pensions systems.
The New Communist Party proposes that a state pension, payable to both men and women from age of 60, should be calculated on the basis of two thirds of the median weekly wage, excluding overtime.
The age of retirement, the pensionable age, must not be increased. To be able to retire from a life of work contributing to the wealth of the country and the profits of those who benefit most from their labour, the capitalist class, is a right which must not be denied. We are not opposed to the right to continue to work after retirement. But the choice must not be one of necessity, and should not affect the pension.
Wherever possible, elderly people should be assisted to remain in their homes, with modifications provided by social services such: as entrance ramps, hand rails, telephones, and emergency alarms. But if this is not practical for reasons of health, then adequate accommodation in residential care homes must be provided. On no account should it be suggested that couples be separated by this arrangement.
This raises the question of the availability of the Health Services. The "District Nurse" is invaluable in assisting health centre doctors in this respect. The reliance on untrained carers is not the answer. Hospitals must always have enough beds available for admission of emergency elderly cases.
One of the most important services needed by the elderly is that of the chiropodist. This is not generally available, and when it is, just for cutting toe−nails it can cost over £1 per toe. This must be an NHS service.
The maintenance of mental health is as important as physical health. It is important that the elderly have access to education and entertainment facilities. The day centres for the elderly, where meals are served, are important in this and must be maintained.
Whilst the long−awaited free bus pass for all elderly people is an advance, it does not completely answer the need. It is necessary to introduce a free universal travel pass covering bus, underground, and the railway. This should be financed by national government. There is also a need to consider the inadequate travel arrangements for the elderly in rural areas. A fully integrated publicly owned transport service is essential to achieve these demands.