In the wake of Tory Boris Johnson’s successful campaign to cut the top rate of tax, which has left 410,000 London pensioners worse off with the so-called ‘granny tax’, Ken Livingstone today published his policies for older Londoners. Ken is pledging to campaign against the Tory pensions rip off and stressing his key pledge to cut Londoners’ heating bills with better insulation and an energy co-op.
In his older Londoners’ manifesto ‘Older Londoners – better off with Ken’, Ken set out five key pledges to improve the quality of life for older people in London including:
1. A cut in energy bills
2. Campaign against George Osborne and Boris Johnson’s Tory budget tax assault on pensioners.
3. Protect the Freedom Pass by cutting the fares and reducing the eligibility age to 60.
4. Provide better local bus services and improve door to door and community transport
5. Extend the Freedom Pass to the cycle hire scheme, to give older Londoners free use
Labour has made the fight for pensioners’ votes a key battleground in the London Mayoral election. Just over one in seven Londoners are over the age of 60 – more than a million people.
Boris Johnson is under fire over his central role in the ‘pensions robbery’ following the budget, his threat to the Freedom Pass and his failure to lift a finger while older Londoners’ fuel bills have risen sharply.
Last week’s budget means 44% of all pensioners in London will lose out thanks to the Conservative party. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has pointed the finger at the Tory Mayor, saying: “Boris Johnson was the most prominent and powerful Tory calling for a £3 billion cut in the top rate of tax right now, making him the main accomplice to George Osborne’s tax grab on pensioners whilst cutting taxes for the richest.”
Ken Livingstone said today:
“Older Londoners need a Mayor who will put them first, not a handful of the richest. The Conservative candidate in this election has got his way, with a tax cut for the richest, but 400,000 London pensioners are being made to pay for it. At the same time the Tory Mayor has failed to deliver on his plans to cut energy bills for London households.
“Older Londoners who are angry at the top-rate tax cut pensions grab can join my campaign to stand up to the Conservatives and help me cut heating bills for pensioners.
“Every year on a Tory Mayor’s watch the qualifying age for the Freedom Pass has risen and he has stood idly by. Only a Labour mayor can be trusted to protect the Freedom Pass long-term.
“As the budget made clear Boris Johnson is more interested in campaigning for a tax cut for the super rich than standing up for ordinary Londoners. I will put the majority first.
“Grey power can bring positive change. Let’s use it to make London fairer.”