Fairer deal for pensioners and carers – Thornton

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Thousands of pensioners as well as those who need care and their carers stand to benefit from the Queen’s Speech, with a fair flat-rate pension for all and a reform of social care announced.

The Care Bill will put fairness back into social care funding, ensuring people do not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care by capping costs as recommended by the independent Dilnot Commission. It will also extend the means-test threshold for financial assistance.

To support carers, councils will have to assess what support they need to manage their own lives and provide services to those who need them.

The Queen also announced a reform of the pensions system, ending the confusion state pension provision by introducing a single, flat-rate pension. This is in addition to the triple lock, championed by the Liberal Democrats, which has ensured record rise in the state pension of £12.50 a week since 2010. The triple lock will continue to safeguard an increase in the state pension in line with earnings, inflation or 2.5% – whichever is higher.

Cares will benefit from the new flat-rate state pension, even if they take time out of work to support relatives.

Commenting, local MP Mike Thornton said:

"For too long, pensioners and those who need care have received a raw deal and the previous Labour government refused to act and take responsibility. Instead, Gordon Brown gave pensioners an insulting 75p rise in their state pension.

"The reforms will ensure that thousands in Eastleigh and Hampshire will have dignity in old age with a fair, single-tier pension and peace of mind by protecting them from catastrophic costs for their care.

"That’s the fairness the Liberal Democrats are ensuring is at the heart of this Coalition Government."

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