OAPs stage cuts protest

p7 ld'Peter Price (left)
p7 ld'Peter Price (left)
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Large turnout expected for demonstration

HUNDREDS of pensioners from across South Yorkshire are gathering in Sheffield to protest about how they are being affected by Government cuts and call for increased payments.

Sheffield Pensioners’ Action Group has organised the event on Friday, September 16.

They will march from the organisation’s offices at Castle Market to the Town Hall, where a rally will be at midday.

The crowd is to be addressed by Jaqui Milner, of Sheffield Pensioners’ Action Group, a representative of Sheffield Trades Council, Dot Gobson, of the National Pensioners’ Convention, national newspaper columnist Paul Routledge and Coun Peter Price, the veteran Sheffield Labour councillor.

Coun Price, who represents Shiregreen and Brightside, said: “We are expecting pensioners to attend from around South Yorkshire.

“There are several ways in which pensioners feel they are having a raw deal, from the fact that state pensions are going to be linked to a lower rate of inflation than they are now, to how the basic state pension is just £98 a week.

“Not many people can afford to live on that.”

The demo will call for an increase in state pensions to £176 a week, as advocated by the National Pensioners’ Convention, to bring pensioners out of poverty.

They want employers to be compelled to provide ‘decent pension schemes’ at a time when many firms are closing final salary schemes, and ‘stop the attacks on public sector pensions’.

Ivy Marshall, aged 78, from Hillsborough, a retired local government worker and member of Sheffield Pensioners’ Action Group, said: “The Government is not giving us a fair deal.

“I am lucky I have saved into an employers’ pension so I don’t have to get by on the state scheme but have been affected by the loss of the £50 extra winter fuel payment.

“I am also keeping an eye on the future of the free bus pass scheme.”

The Government said it is having to make changes to public sector pensions because current schemes are unaffordable in the long term as retired people live for years longer than before.

It plans to increase the basic state pension to £140 a week for people claiming for the first time from 2016.