“My name is Pete Perry and I am 77 years old. I have had two heart attacks and a stroke. My wife Nikki is my full-time carer.
Our only income is the basic state pension, pension credit and carer’s benefit. It is not enough to live on – a 54% increase would be needed for it to meet the Minimum Income Standard – or Living Wage – the amount people in the UK agree is required to live on. I wanted to share with you what this means for us personally.
We are constantly worried about paying the fuel bills, the rent and buying food. We very often put only one small gas fire on, rather than the central heating, and wrap ourselves up in a blanket to keep warm. To save money, we cook from scratch rather than buy ‘ready meals’ (we don’t even have a microwave!) – and we freeze leftovers for another day. We NEVER have a takeaway, cannot afford to go to the cinema, and do not own a TV or stereo. We ‘make do’ as my mother did during the war and rationing years.
Christmas is a particularly stressful time for us, as we like to buy presents for the grandchildren, which means we have to go without our basic necessities.
I have worked hard throughout my life and paid taxes, and I believe the government should support its elderly citizens with enough income to live on – that’s why I started this petition. We need to show the government that we won’t stand for elderly people being left in poverty.Please sign my petition asking the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb, to increase the state pension to match the Living Wage.”
Pensioner, United Kingdom”
“The Living Wage is currently £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 an hour in the rest of the UK. This equates to £343 a week in London (£294 elsewhere in the UK) for a 37.5 hour working week for an individual. Similarly, the Minimum Income Standard for a pensioner couple is £347.93 per week.
The basic state pension however, is only £113.10 per week for those born before 1951, and although total household income can be topped up with pension credit to £148.35 (for single people) or £226.50 (for couples), a 54% increase (98% for individuals) in this level of income is required to bring this up to an amount people can live on.”
Read more and please sign the petition
The fact that elderly people, the chronically sick and disabled live in poverty is an absolute disgrace in the sixth richest country in the world. At the end of your working life you want to live in some comfort, have the means to enjoy your self not struggle to make ends meet, which frankly is impossible. You should not have to live an unheated house unable to go out and about, go to the cinema, enjoy a meal out, live the life you deserve to live after working day after day your entire life. And even if you have not worked through no fault of your own such as disability, illness or unemployment or simply to bring up your children, you should nonetheless be entitled to a livable pension – at least in any decent ethical society.
The fact that his unfortunate couple who struggle with long term serious illness cannot afford a TV or a stereo, basic for most people here in the UK , and are confined to one heated room and struggle to buy enough food is an outrage and should be strongly condemned.
The answer is not to deprive other people such as overseas aid as so many demand, a demand born of a tiresome rhetoric of misguided people along with the well worn immigration red herring meant to distract from the real problems, namely the grossly unfair distribution of wealth .
Please do sign the petition, it is vital to let this government of millionaires know that we the people are sick of this gross unfairness in our society where people die of cold and hunger in unheated homes while the rich get richer and richer.
The answer ultimately is a more fair distribution of the country’s wealth and indeed the world’s wealth and resources, for this and more severe problems exist worldwide including other rich countries such as the USA and Australia as well as obvious so called developing countries which it seems never develop, locked in poverty and deprivation.
Time to bring an end to allowing the minority to live in decadent greed accruing money that they can never spend in a lifetime while others suffer poverty and deprivation, many after working away their entire lives to make another person rich. Why should Pete Perry and his wife and millions like them young and old live like this while the likes of Duncan Smith, Cameron and the other multimillionaire MPs continue to accrue obscene wealth for themselves and the privileged super rich.
This year the wealth of Britain’s richest rose by 15.4%:
Wealth of Britain’s richest 1,000 people hits new high of £519bn
The combined fortune of Britain’s richest 1,000 people has hit a new high of £519bn – equivalent to a third of the nation’s economic output, and double the figure of five years ago.
The worth of Britain’s rich elite is up 15.4% from last year’s total of £450bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Philip Beresford, who compiled the rankings, said: “I’ve never seen such a phenomenal rise in personal wealth as the growth in the fortunes of Britain’s 1,000 richest people over the past year. The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year.”
The wealth of the top 1,000 has doubled since the financial crisis, rising from £258bn in 2009.
Time to demand better. Time to recognise the real problem and not be distracted by thinking that has no basis in reality or morality. Here is one suggestion some misguided person came out with, it is a well aired and misguided notion born often of racism but mostly ignorance:
“Why not stop overseas aid and stop funding children to fund this.” I assume this person is referring to children in developing countries. It is typical of the way a lot of people in our society think.
Really would you want to deny a starving child the miniscule amount of aid the UK sends abroad? This is not the problem, rather it is the decadent wealth accumulated and controlled by the super rich who have not in any real sense earned or deserve the vast amount of wealth they continue to amass at the expense of the minority included elderly, sick and disabled people here in the UK and starving people including children, one of whom dies every three seconds in the developing world. No one deserves such obscence amounts of money, until people realise this and stop blaming immigration and poor people over seas we will never improve the situation here in the UK or elsewhere. Time for a fair world for everyone.
Look at a few of the comments included in the petition. Such hardship in a country like the UK is an outrage and it has to stop.
“I have worked all my life, I paid into a private pension that turned out to be almost worthless. At present I am still working and will not reach retirement age for quite a while but I could easily be in this position in the future – so could a lot of other people who have spent a lifetime working.”
“I am 67 years old and I too am trying to survive on the state pension. I am registered disabled with heart problems, am diabetic and I am calcium deficient resulting in crumbling bones mostly due possibly to diet. help us to provide a staple diet . My wife is unable to draw her pension untill next year due to government rules she is 62 and hopefully, if things are not changed again will get her pension in April”
“I have paid all my taxes and so called insurance all my working like, I am still working two years passed my pension age still paying my taxs and yet I do not look forward to retirement how can anybody hope to Iive on the benefits that are paid at the moment it’s a dam disgrace. It’s time to put things right.”
Time to demand change