WE ARE CURRENTLY RUNNING ACTIVE CAMPAIGNS TO RESTORE THE TRIPLE LOCK, TO REPLACE THE CURRENT SOCIAL CARE PLAN WITH MEASURES THAT WOULD FIX THE SOCIAL CARE CRISIS, TO RESTORE FREE TV LICENCES FOR THE OVER 75s, TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF FACE TO FACE APPOINTMENTS WITH GPs AND ON MANY MORE ISSUES AFFECTING OLDER PEOPLE. SOME EXAMPLES ARE GIVEN BELOW OF OUR ACTIVITIES IN RECENT MONTHS.
EMERGENCY INCREASE IN STATE PENSIONS OF £500 PER ANNUM
Silver Voices has placed a petition on the official Government website, calling for both the old and new state pensions to be increased by £500 per annum as an emergency measure to compensate for the suspension of the triple lock and to help with the cost-of-living crisis. The payment should be consolidated into future pension rates.
The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/605503
Silver Voices is campaigning against the decision to suspend the Triple Lock because there would be an above average rise in the state pension next year. This betrayal of a manifesto promise conveniently ignores the fact that the earnings link with the state pension was lost for thirty years between 1980 and 2011 and the Triple Lock was supposed to gradually rectify the consequent increase in poverty in old age. We have conducted a ballot of our members and the vast majority want us to campaign for all older people to deny their votes to the Conservatives at future elections, because of this fundamental breach of trust. Join us!
NHS DENTISTRY CRISIS
Silver Voices is drawing the attention of politicians and the media to the parlous state of NHS dentistry, with thousands being forced to go private as NHS treatment is not available. The results of a survey of our members is available here:
FACE-TO-FACE APPOINTMENTS WITH GPs
The pandemic has been used to make major changes in the way NHS services are being delivered locally. Many people are finding it difficult, sometimes impossible, to see their GP and are being fobbed off with other practice staff or remote consultations. Silver Voices is campaigning to stop the link between patient and doctor being broken permanently, on grounds of patient safety. Sign and share our petition on the official government website to embed the absolute right of patients to a face-to-face appointment with a GP.
SOCIAL CARE CRISIS
Silver Voices members have had enough of broken promises on the reform of social care. Up to 2 million older people across the UK are not receiving the social care support they need and they are struggling to survive in their own homes. Our members have therefore resolved to support older people who decide to withhold their council tax payments (rates in Northern Ireland) if their social care needs have not been met by their local authority or trust.
FREE TV LICENCES/ GUM UP THE WORKS CAMPAIGN
From 1 August 2020, Silver Voices launched a campaign of direct action to ‘gum up the works’ of TV Licensing to force the BBC and Government to find ways to reinstate the free TV licence for the over 75s. The plan is for all over 60s to complicate and delay payments of the fees to ensure collection and enforcement become unworkable.
STOP PRESS: Nine out of ten of our over 75s members have voted to support a national TV licence fee strike in protest at the scrapping of their right to a free TV licence. Silver Voices will support and advise all senior citizens who have decided to withhold their licence fee. The immediate objective of the action is to persuade the Government and the BBC to stop blaming each other and discuss ways to restore free licences as soon as possible.
EXTEND SHIELDING SUPPORT/ FACE MASKS
Silver Voices campaigned for shielding support for “extremely vulnerable” people to be extended and for face masks to be made compulsory wherever social distancing is difficult. Originally we were a lone voice but eventually good sense prevailed on Covid-19 safeguards
PENSION CREDIT CAMPAIGN
Silver Voices is supporting the Independent Age campaign to end the low take-up of pension credit. Only 60% of those entitled to pension credit actually receive it and £3.5 billion is returned to the Treasury each year. We are calling on the Government to publish an action plan to ensure that every older person eligible for the benefit receives it.
We are campaigning against the excessive costs of funerals which are now a national disgrace, with funeral directors taking advantage of people when they at their most vulnerable. We have influenced the current investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.
FREE PERSONAL CARE CAMPAIGN
Silver Voices is strongly supporting the campaign of Independent Age for free personal care for all, on the same basis as medical care under the NHS. In the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis we will be arguing for huge extra resource commitments to remedy a collapsing social care system and a dysfunctional market.