NPC Lobby of Parliament
The NPC Lobby of Parliament will take place on Wednesday 2 November 2016, with a demonstration in Old Palace Yard at 12 noon and a rally in Committee Room 14 from 1-3pm, hosted by Kelvin Hopkins MP. Further details as to the theme of the lobby and guest speakers will be published shortly.
National Pensioners Convention: NPC finally meets Minister for Pensions Baroness Ros Altman
After 9 months of requesting, the NPC finally met the new Minister for Pensions. You can read a report of the meeting here
Next National Committee Meeting
The next National Committee meeting will be held on the 13th June 2016 in Blackpool
PC Budget Briefing
On 8 July, the Chancellor George Osborne presented his Emergency/Summer Budget, announcing that a further £37bn worth of savings and spending cuts would be introduced over the next five years. Read the full briefing at the bottom of the page in additional resources.
TPA should apologise for “cynical and offensive” remarks about pensioners
Britain’s biggest older people’s organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) is calling on the Tax Payers Alliance to apologise for remarks made by its research director, Alex Wild, during a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference. Read the full article here
Guidance for Disabled Badge Holders
It would be useful for all GMB members who are currently disabled and in possession of a badge to read the following, which are the new Rules being introduced by this government. The tests are obviously going to exclude many of our members who currently hold badges.
The rules as follows:
- You automatically get a badge if you receive the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Those who become disabled after reaching 65 would not qualify for DLA and therefore fall under the discretionary criteria. This means that they have to be assessed in order to decide whether or not they are immobile enough to warrant the awarding of a Blue Badge. 66% of the 2.5m Blue Badge holders fall into this category.
As from 1 April 2012 anyone applying under category 2 above for a new badge or re-applying because their old one has expired (they last every 3 years) will have to see an Independent Mobility Assessor. This is likely to be an occupational or physio therapist who is privately employed by the local authority.
There are England-wide guidelines for them to follow, but each individual assessor might view things slightly differently. Off the record discussions have revealed that before the assessment even begins - individuals will be viewed arriving at the assessment centre. If they get out of their car easily or climb the stairs to the assessment office they will not get a badge. A crude rule of thumb that assessors will use is to ask whether an individual can go to the shops on their own. If they can - then it is unlikely they will be awarded a badge.
A concern for our members is that they may have received a Blue Badge under the old system (signed off by their GP) and now find that their badge is due for renewal under the new system. As a result, they may find they no longer qualify.
Whilst there is an appeals procedure, it is difficult at this stage to know how successful these will be.
It would therefore be extremely useful if affiliates and regions could let the NPC know of any cases where individuals have been refused an application to renew or apply for a Blue Badge. If such evidence becomes available, it may then be possible to raise the matter with ministers and officials at the Department for Transport and/or local authorities.
Retention of National Bus Pass
GMB is calling for its members to contact their local MP’s to encourage them to support this Early Day Motion 2665 in support of the Retention of National Bus Pass.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has recently called for the bus pass to be means-tested. David Crausby MP has tabled Early Day Motion 2665 in response (see below). Please contact your MP and ask them to sign the EDM as soon as possible.
"That this House is deeply concerned at the Deputy Prime Minister's suggestion that pensioner benefits, including bus passes, ought to be means-tested; recognises the tremendous success of the free bus pass with the increased use of public transport, reduced car dependency and improvements to the quality of life of pensioners by allowing them to keep mobile and socially connected; and calls on the Government to resist means-testing and to continue fully funding the free national bus pass scheme for all pensioners."
NPC. Campaign Bulletin 115 December 2016
NPC Campaign Bulletin 112 - September 2016
Campaign Bulletin 111 August 2016
Campaign-Bulletin-110 July 2016
NPC Campaign Bulletin 109 - June 2016
Health & Social Care News issue 3 June 2016
NPC finally meets Minister for Pensions
NPC Campaign Bulletin 107
NPC Campaign Bulletin 105
NPC Campaign Bulletin 91
NPC Budget Briefing
State Pension Briefing November 2014
NPC Campaign Bulletin 64