Like many local people who have contacted me, I am deeply concerned that the same think tank that came up with Universal Credit is now laying the groundwork to increase the retirement age to 75 by 2035. Just nine years from now, the retirement age would go up to 70 as the change is phased in.
The Tories may want us to work till we drop, but I’ll keep fighting tirelessly so that men and women who have worked so hard can actually enjoy their well-earned retirement at a decent age.
It’s one of many issues that was raised at my first Older People’s Fair in Skelmanthorpe. Alongside this, the removal of the free TV licence scheme for many over 75s, the unfair acceleration of the women’s state pension age, which I recently raised in Parliament again, and the widely reported crisis in adult social care – there’s a lot to contend with for older generations.
So, I was pleased to have the chance to host an event to showcase the organisations that offer a range of support, advice and services to older residents in the constituency.
I’m proud that the Older People’s Fair was a huge success and I’d like to thank all the people who took time out to come along – I really enjoyed our chats!
Also, massive thanks to the many who came along to exhibit, it was great to have such a diverse range of organisations represented from West Yorkshire Police to Barclays Bank and Dewsbury Memories to Chair Based Yoga. I hope all who took part enjoyed the bingo, I certainly did!
It is great that locally we have these groups, often volunteer led, providing support and valuable social networks to older people.
Back in Parliament, (which is currently prorogued) I will continue to push for measures that ensure dignity and security in retirement. I am particularly concerned that adult social care has long been underfunded despite rapidly increasing demand. Since 2010, there have been £7 billion of cuts to social care and cuts to local authority care services have placed increasing pressure on unpaid carers.
I fully support Labour’s plan to put an extra £8 billion into the social care system over the next parliament, including an additional £1 billion in the first year.
And as always, if there’s anything I can do to help readers or their families in any way on any of these issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office on 01924 565450, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me; Paula Sherriff MP, The Old Dewsbury Reporter Building, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13 1HQ.