The Tories’ pension credit cut comes into force today – the latest in their series of harmful austerity policies that will leave some of the poorest older people in society up to £7,000 a year worse off.
Until today, couples in which one person is of State Pension Age and the other person is not were able to claim Pension Credit to bridge the financial gap.
Now they will be forced to claim Universal Credit, which will mean they receive less.
The cut comes as pensioner poverty rises – it is now at its worst since 2008 – and after 300,000 more pensioners were driven into poverty between 2014 and 2017, the first sustained increase in pensioner poverty for 20 years.
The policy passed through parliament in 2012 but is only now coming into force, and without any further parliamentary scrutiny.
The SNP have repeatedly urged the Tories to put the change to a fresh vote given that the policy was agreed upon 7 years ago but the UK government refused.
Commenting, Mhairi Black MP said: “Today’s cruel slash to pension credit punishes people for being with someone younger than themselves and will leave some of our poorest pensioners up to £7,000 poorer a year.
“The cut comes as pensioner poverty rises and on the back of the Tory threat to end free TV licenses for over 75s, the state pension age increase, unfair treatment for women born in the 1950s and the four-year benefit freeze.
“The Tories also shamefully preside over the lowest state pension in the developed world.
“It becomes clearer by the day that the Tories simply cannot be trusted to look after our pensioners.
“The only sure way to tackle pensioner poverty and allow our older people across Scotland to live with the dignity and respect they deserve is with the full powers of independence.”
Disclaimer: This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).