New Communist Party of Britain
For too long the elderly have been undervalued in our society and recently have had to bear a heavy burden as a result of the cuts that have been imposed by the Conservative, Liberal-Democratic coalition (Coalition) government.
We are opposed to the increase in the age at when the state pension becomes payable. We are not opposed to the right to work after retirement. But the choice must not be one of necessity, and should not affect the pension. We should be able to retire whilst still able to participate and enjoy social activities, which in any decent society should be considered the norm for all, such as visiting friends, family, the cinema, theatre and other cultural, social, sporting and political activities. This is not too much to ask for after having spent many years working for and accumulating wealth for the capitalist class.
Although it has been stated earlier in this resolution, the New Communist Party proposes that the state pension should be payable to both men and women from the age of 60 and should be calculated on the basis of two thirds of the median weekly wage. On this basis the state pension would rise from £107.45 to £268 per week.
Another important issue for the elderly is that of health and security, which is inevitably of greater concern with the coming of age. Wherever possible elderly people should remain in their own home, whether owned or rented, with modifications provided by social services, such as entrance ramps, hand rails, telephone and emergency alarms. If this is not practical for reasons of health, then accommodation in a residential nursing home must he provided. On no account should it be suggested that couples be separated. The reliance on private residential homes has proved a disaster with untrained “carers” highlighted by the Southern Cross scandal, which has proved the need for such services to be part of the National Health system, and not for private profit.
Another facility for the elderly that must be maintained is the Day Centre, which shou1d provide meals at reasonable prices and social activities such as physica1 exercises, dances, bingo and coach trips to stimulate the mind. Facilities vary and there are often hairdressers, a visiting nurse and chiropodist available. Some Day Centres are also used as a base for Meals on Wheels which are available for those unable to leave home.
We are all aware of the closure of libraries, post offices and even banks, which poses a problem of access to these offices. For the elderly it imposes an extra, sometimes difficult travel cost. We demand that not only should the Free Bus Pass be maintained, it should he made a universal pass for Bus, Train and Underground.