Pensioners betrayed by broken Tory promise on triple lock

Pensioners betrayed by broken Tory promise on triple lock

Parliamentary news
Responding to the rejection of an amendment to the Social Security Bill which would prevent the ditching of the pension triple lock, Liberal Democrat Work & Pensions Spokesperson Wendy Chamberlain MP said: "Pensioners will not forget this triple lock betrayal. "The Government have ploughed ahead with their manifesto-breaking plan, by rejecting a fair and sensible solution that would have saved the triple lock. The result is a downgraded rise in the state pension just as a cost-of-living crisis begins to bite. It is clear this Conservative Government is completely out of touch. “The Prime Minister never misses a chance to talk about rising wages as a result of Brexit, yet at the same time calls this rise an anomaly to justify betraying pensioners. So which is it? Because it cannot…
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Pension Fund bosses refuse to speak to councillors on fossil fuels

Pension Fund bosses refuse to speak to councillors on fossil fuels

Borough news
After the Labour run Oldham Council removed any mention of divestment from a motion calling for the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) to stop investing in fossil fuel companies, the managers of the fund have refused to come and meet with councillors to explain why they are against the change. Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani proposed the motion, and following the amendments to it, accepted an offer from cabinet member Abdul Jabbar to have the GMPF explain their reasoning. However, GMPF then responded to say that they “have decided not accept such invitations for now”. Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “This is not acceptable. Oldham Council is among many public bodies which has accepted that we are facing a climate crisis. Yet our money is going into the largest pension fund of…
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Government defeated over broken triple lock promise

Government defeated over broken triple lock promise

Parliamentary news
The Liberal Democrats joined with peers from across the political divide to defeat the Government’s decision to ditch the pension triple lock. The Conservatives pledged to maintain the triple lock in their 2019 manifesto. The commitment ensures that the state pension will rise in line with inflation, wage growth, or a base 2.5% - whichever is higher. However, they have since reneged on their promise - a move which will mean the average pensioner loses out on between £370 and £485 a year. This is in part due to inflation being expected to rise to between 4-5%. The Liberal Democrats have opposed this cut and endorsed the amendment from Baroness Altmann, a Conservative peer, which passed in the House of Lords by 220 to 178 tonight. The amendment also includes…
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GM Pension fund must go green

Borough news
The Greater Manchester Pension Fund must divest from fossil fuels, not only to protect the planet, but to protect the pensions of thousands of people across the region. At the next full meeting of Oldham Council (Wednesday 14 July 2021), the Liberal Democrats will propose a motion to deliver exactly that. Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani, who will be proposing the motion, said: “It is time the Greater Manchester Pension Fund did the right thing by our environment and pulled out the money invested in fossil fuel industries that massively contribute to global warming, and instead reinvest it in green technologies which do good.” The Fund is currently one of the biggest investors in fossil fuels with over £1.7 billion in the oil, coal and gas industries. “As an employer, Oldham Council…
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Sykes seeks commitment to make Greater Manchester pension fund ‘Green’

Sykes seeks commitment to make Greater Manchester pension fund ‘Green’

Borough news
Local Liberal Democrat Councillors have begun the fight to make the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, one of the largest municipal pension funds in the UK, ‘green’. The Oldham Liberal Democrats first proposed that Oldham Council declare a Climate Emergency and were delighted to support the Administration’s ambition to achieve carbon-neutrality for Oldham Council by 2025 and for the Borough by 2030. In March Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE wrote to the Council’s representative on the Greater Manchester Pension Fund management advisory board calling for it ‘to rapidly divest from fossil fuels’. He has yet to receive a reply nearly a month later. In March 2019, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund held investments of £1.71 billion in fossil fuel companies and funds. The biggest holdings are in BP and Shell.…
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Time to retire fossil fuels: Liberal Democrats want pension fund to go green

Time to retire fossil fuels: Liberal Democrats want pension fund to go green

Borough news
Oldham’s Liberal Democrats are backing the Fossil Fuel Greater Manchester campaign in asking the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the largest of its kind in the country, to go green and ditch investments in coal, gas and coal. Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, wrote recently to the Council’s representative on the board of the pension fund, Labour Deputy Leader Councillor Abdul Jabbar MBE, asking for his help in making this request a reality. Councillor Sykes explained: “In light of the long-term threat posed to our natural environment and humanity by climate change, Oldham Council has like many others declared a climate emergency and has set ambitious goals to become a carbon neutral local authority by 2025 and a carbon neutral borough by 2030.…
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Liberal Democrat heads shake at Greater Manchester Labour charging OAPs £10 to ride on public transport

Borough news
Liberal Democrat Councillor Howard Sykes MBE has criticised Labour bosses in Manchester for their hypocrisy.  Pensioners who currently enjoy free travel on public transport across Greater Manchester are being forced to pay an annual fee if they want to travel from A to B.  The new Charge will be £10, whereas before it was free.  This tax will be live possibly as early as January 2020. Councillor Sykes MBE commented:  “Pensioners currently enjoy free train, tram and bus travel weekdays, on weekends and public holidays.  This is a great way to enable older people access to the full network free of financial burden.” “This £10 charge is simply a Labour shakedown to stealth tax our elderly.  OAPs now have to pay for TV licences and struggle with heating bills in…
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