Fifty thousand Scottish pensioners lose benefits after changes

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  By Martin Kelly
 
Tens of thousands of Scotland’s poorer pensioners who have saved for their retirement are now substantially worse off due to UK government cuts.
 
Research by the House of Commons Library has shown 50,000 Scottish pensioners have lost benefits since 2010 with a cut of £90 million to Savings Credit.

Savings Credit is paid to poorer pensioners who have saved for their retirement.  A single pensioner could receive up to £20.52 per week, or £27.09 per week for a couple.

However, if there is a No vote in September, pensioners across Scotland are set to lose out as the benefit is to be scrapped for all new pensioners in 2016.

Commenting, SNP spokesperson for Work and Pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“This benefit cut is hitting poorer pensioners who have planned ahead and worked hard for their retirement.

“The UK government gives the impression it wants to protect pensioners, but they have cut a massive £90 million since 2010 which is leaving tens of thousands of pensioners in Scotland worse off.”

In its White Paper – Scotland’s Future – the Scottish Government has said that following a Yes vote the they will provide Scotland’s pensioners with a guaranteed pension of £160 a week from 2016-17, a triple lock and the continuation of Savings Credit.

Ms Whiteford added: “It’s a real shame that Scottish pensioners who have put savings away for their old age are being hit in this way.

“Scotland has paid more in taxes in each and every one of the last 30 years than the rest of the UK, much of it through the efforts of those who are now in retirement.

“Following a Yes vote in September, we can make Scotland’s wealth work for the people who live here- which includes a fairer welfare system and a better deal for our pensioners.”