No doubt you’ve all read the headlines regarding Brexit over the last day or so, with Theresa May suffering a huge defeat after her Brexit deal was thrown out by MPs with a record majority of 230.
But what you might not yet have heard is that some of the poorest pensioner couples in the UK are set to lose over £7,000 each and every year because of changes to pension credit, which subsidises the incomes of elderly people in need of financial help.
According to the Independent, the government has now been accused of trying to bury this change, due to come in on May 15th, which means couples where just one person is above state pension age (65, or up to 68 depending on birthday) will no longer receive the benefit.
Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at Royal London, put it in context, saying that a couple who would have received £13,273 in the fiscal year 2019/2020 from pension credit would see this reduced to just £5,986.68 under universal credit.
Some could lose out on thousands depending on whether their claims fall either a day before or after the deadline in May, he continued, adding: “People who may be affected deserve to know about this change and not have it sneaked out on a day when ministers were no doubt hoping that everyone’s attention was directed somewhere else.”
Pensions minister Guy Opperman, however, commented on the matter, saying that the changes will make sure that the same work incentives apply to younger partners in older couples as they do to others of the same age, as well as ensuring that taxpayer support is diverted to where it’s most required.
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Disability inclusivity has taken a big step further forward this month (January), thanks to the owners of bridal boutique The White Collection, based in Portishead, which has just featured a mannequin dolled up in a wedding dress but sat in a wheelchair in its shop front window.
The window display was spotted by 36-year-old Beth Wilson, who shared a photo of it on Twitter and told Cosmopolitan that this is the first time she’s seen a wheelchair used in such a way in a bricks and mortar store before.
Ms Wilson, who is disabled herself, went on to say: “So often disabled people feel invisible because we don’t see ourselves in the media much, and especially not modelling beautiful clothes. The reaction on Twitter has shown that it means a lot to other people, too.”
She heaped further praise on the bridal shop, saying that it was “great” how they chose to decorate the chair instead of trying to hide it, adding that mobility aids are often looked at as negative but they actually give the people who use them freedom.
NHS statistics show that there are about 1.2 million wheelchair users here in the UK, with two-thirds of these regular users… so it’s great to see businesses being more inclusive and letting this demographic know that they are noticed and are being heard. The more this can happen, the better, we here at Beactive Mobility say!
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