Plaid Cymru's general election candidates have today (21 April) each signed a pledge promising to stand up for the needs of pensioners if elected to Westminster. They said that a “living pension” should be a greater economic priority than funding a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system.
Plaid, which is standing a candidate in every seat in Wales, accused the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties of failing to act on pensioner poverty.
They said that all three had “betrayed the most vulnerable elderly people by refusing to promise a state pension that is sufficient to live on”.
“The three London parties have decided that the plight of our poorest pensioners is not a priority,” said Dafydd Trystan Davies, Plaid candidate for Cynon, “All three believe that replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system is more important than some of the most vulnerable people in our communities”.
While Labour and the Conservatives want to renew Trident, the Liberal Democrats wish to replace it with a smaller, cheaper nuclear weapons system. Plaid, along with the Greens and the Scottish National Party, wish to end the UK government's ownership of nuclear arms altogether.
Davies described the big three parties' attitude as “a betrayal of thousands of people who have paid taxes their whole life in order to get a decent state pension”.
Plaid say that according to one scenario, forecast by Ofgem, winter fuel prices could increase by 60 per cent by the year 2016. They say that such forecasts will bring further concern to pensioners already struggling to cope with the high cost of domestic fuel.
The party point out that thousands of pensioners in the UK die due to poverty every year.
“Like all Plaid Cymru candidates, I pledge to stand up and fight for our pensioners who are being left high and dry by the London parties,” said Davies, “This is one of the most pressing issues that government on a UK level has to deal with, and it’s getting worse”.
He added, “The more Plaid MPs we have following this election, the stronger our voice will be to fight for a state pension that people can actually live on.”
Plaid Cymru, whose name means “Party of Wales” in Welsh, is a democratic socialist party working towards an independent Wales within the European Union. Plaid is a partner in the coalition government in the devolved Welsh Assembly.