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MPs savaged by their seniors

PUBLISHED: 12:25 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:52 25 August 2010

OVER 2,000 pensioners assembled in Blackpool this month to grill our top politicians on older peoples issues.

OVER 2,000 pensioners assembled in Blackpool this month to grill our top politicians on older peoples' issues.

The 17th Pensioners' Parliament was held for three days for pensioners representing activists from across the country, including Bexley Pensioners' Forum.

A gruelling 'question time' that lasted over two hours sent the high ranking MPs south with their tails between their legs.

Pensions Minister Rosie Winterton MP, Shadow Minister for Older People Nigel Waterson MP and the Liberal Democrats' pensions spokesman fended off some very critical questions.

But all seemed strangely aloof to the obvious anger of the pensioner delegates. Our questions highlighted many broken promise like that to abolish means testing, and the ultimate insult of the 25p 'rise' awarded to pensioners who reach 80.

The vexed issue of some £47 billion pounds sloshing about in a ring fenced pension fund which could pull 2.5 million pensioners out of poverty, was also debated.

But our displeasure at pensioners' treatment was even noted in a straw poll of delegates who trusted MPs in general. The result was a unanimous NONE.

If nothing else, I felt that the message "remember 11 million pensioners have a vote" was rammed home time and time again and should be remembered come the next election.


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