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HARMAN SETS OUT LABOUR'S PLEDGES TO PENSIONERS

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Harriet Harman, shadow secretary of state for social security has condemned Tory claims about Labour's policies for...
Harriet Harman, shadow secretary of state for social security has condemned Tory claims about Labour's policies for pensioners and set out Labour's pledges to pensioners.

Ms Harman said: 'Peter Lilley's three allegations about Labour's policies for pensioners are another case of 'same old Tories, same old lies.'

'Labour's proposed windfall tax on the privatised utilities will not hit pensioners. Labour's welfare to work programme will help pensioners through insulating homes.

'The independent Institute for Fiscal Studies have confirmed that the windfall tax will not affect prices.*

'And City analysts SBC Warburg confirm that the market has already discounted the impact of the windfall levy into share prices.**

'Labour's proposals for local government will not hit pensioners. Labour will end crude council tax capping, but we have always made clear that we will retain reserve powers to protect council tax payers from excessive tax increases. And we will ensure that councils deliver value for money.

'Labour will not cut the basic state pension. We will give pensioners more choice.

'At present if you choose to retire later you can get your pension at a slightly higher rate. We believe that people should have the choice, if they can afford it, to retire earlier and take their pension at a lower level. But this would be strictly their choice and at no cost to the public purse.

'It is the Tories who threaten Britain's pensioners. If the Tories are re-elected:

-- they will privatise the state pension

-- there will be nothing to stop them doubling VAT on heating

-- the NHS as we know it will cease to exist

-- they will force the privatisation of residential care homes

-- and fear of crime will keep pensioners trapped in their own home.

Labour will:

-- save the basic state pension

-- cut VAT on heating

-- reduce NHS waiting times

-- stop the forced sell-off of care homes

-- tackle crime to provide greater security.

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