Pensions - The Scottish Manifesto pledges

21 Jun 2024
Manifesto pledge on pensions

The cost-of-living crisis has caused huge financial hardship across the country and restricted the life chances of millions. The Government response has been a series of patchy and short-term fixes.

Liberal Democrats believe that no one should fear for their future, struggle to put food on the table, or worry about heating their home.

Our aim is to make the UK the best place in the world to work, raise children and enjoy retirement by ensuring that proper support is in place for those who need it.

We will:

  • Tackle child poverty by removing the two-child limit and the benefit cap.
  • Set a target of ending deep poverty within a decade, and establish an independent commission to recommend further annual increases in Universal Credit to ensure that support covers life’s essentials, such as food and bills.
  • Support pensioners by protecting the triple lock so that pensions always rise in line with inflation, wages or 2.5% – whichever is highest.
  • Ensure that women born in the 1950s are finally treated fairly and properly compensated.
  • Provide the Scottish Government with funding it can use to deliver an uplift to Carer Support Payment in Scotland, equivalent to the improvements that will be made to Carer’s Allowance by the Liberal Democrats in the rest of the UK, as set out in Chapter 7, and stop pursuing carers for old overpayments of Carer’s Allowance.

in addition, we will:

  • Repair the broken benefits safety net by:
    • Reducing the wait for the first payment of Universal Credit from five weeks to five days.
    • Scrapping the bedroom tax.
    • Replacing the sanctions regime with an incentive-based scheme to help people into work.
    • Ending the young parent penalty for under-25s by restoring the full rate of Universal Credit for all parents regardless of age.

  • Provide funding to the Scottish Government so that carers in Scotland can get the same benefits as those elsewhere in the UK, where Liberal Democrats will increase Carer’s Allowance and expand eligibility for it by:
    • Raising the amount carers can earn and introducing an earnings taper to end the unfair cliff-edge.
    • Reducing the number of hours’ care per week required.
    • Extending it to carers in full-time education.

  • Reverse the Conservatives’ cut to support payments for parents whose partners have died.

  • Make the benefits system work better for disabled people by:
    • Giving disabled people and organisations representing them a stronger voice in the design of benefits policies and processes.
    • Bringing Work Capability Assessments in-house.

  • Give everyone the chance to enjoy a decent retirement by:
    • Developing measures to end the gender pension gap in private pensions and ensure working-age carers can save properly for retirement.
    • Improving the State Pension system by investing in helplines to ensure quicker responses to queries and resolution of underpayments.
    • Ending the scandal of lost top-up payments by overhauling the processing system and providing proper receipts.

  • Fix the broken Statutory Sick Pay system, as set out in chapter 4.

  • Require pension funds and managers to show that their portfolio investments are consistent with the Paris Agreement, as set out in chapter 5.

  • Ensure that military compensation for illness or injury does not count towards means testing for benefits, as set out in chapter 21.

Scottish Manifesto click here

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