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Suffolk Pensioners' Association

PUBLISHED: 09:47 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 06 July 2010

Chairman Chris Brooks welcomed new members Pearl Jacob and Mr and Mrs Gill among the 24 members to the meeting and presented a slideshow of the summer minibus mystery tours held last summer.

Chairman Chris Brooks welcomed new members Pearl Jacob and Mr and Mrs Gill among the 24 members to the meeting and presented a slideshow of the summer minibus mystery tours held last summer. For the main business he outlined various aspects of the NPC campaigns as listed in the National Pensioners Convention manifesto which states: 'All men and women shall be entitled to dignity, security and fulfilment in retirement that includes: decent state pension; free long term social care; good quality local services; free UK wide travel on buses, trams, trains; end to age discrimination; winter fuel allowance of £500 per pensioner household.' He presented the NPC campaign report for October with headline articles 'Has David Blunkett seen the light on means testing?', 'The prime minister's free care pledge doesn't add up', 'Pensioners in firing line for cuts' and 'NPC calls for housing inquiry'. Commenting on means-testing he reported 'for years the NPC has been calling on the government to pay a universal state pension set above the official poverty level as the best way of ensuring that it reaches everyone. The government could then use the tax system to take back the money from those who are regarded as well off. Up till now ministers have instead preferred to use means-tested benefits, despite the fact that around two million eligible people don't claim them. former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Blunkett, recently stated on Radio 4's Today programme “We should retain universal benefit delivery, but claw back money from those who don't need it, through tax,” which succinctly paraphrases the NPC position. The latest newsletter can be found on www.npcuk.org the NPC website. The chairman has just received an email from East Anglian secretary, Ron Douglas, representing the region on the National Pensioners Convention executive, that there will be a major national rally and March in London on Saturday, April 10 next year on the theme 'defending the welfare state and public services'. This will be discussed at the next meeting which will be held at 1.45pm on the third Monday of next month, November 16, one week later than usual, at the BT Social Club, Clapham Road, when new members are welcome to attend. Also to be discussed will be the pre-Christmas lunch which is now booked at the East Restaurant Lowestoft College for Tuesday, December 2, and the proposed visit of the Wickham Market branch of the association to Lowestoft next summer.

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