Voluntary Sector: Taking action... Pensioners and trade unions vs Government

Protesters: National Pensioners Convention and trade unions
Target: UK Government
Location: Westminster
Date: 22 October

- The Lowdown

More than 1,000 members of the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) and trade unions marked 100 years since the introduction of the state pension by demonstrating in Parliament Square, followed by a rally and parliamentary lobby. The groups believe it is the first time working and retired people have joined forces to call for a higher pension.

- Why the protest?

The protesters say the current promised increase due next April is not enough. The Daily Telegraph reported NPC general secretary Joe Harris as saying: 'It's not acceptable that there's billions for bankers, but peanuts for pensioners.'

- How did the Government respond?

Pensions minister Rosie Winterton said the Government understood people were facing challenges, but it was necessary to balance increasing the state pension with people's ability to pay more tax. 'The NPC proposal would cost in the region of £30bn per year... That's equivalent to an increase of around 7p on the basic rate of income tax,' she said.

- How did the media cover it?

The protest was widely covered from various angles. The BBC used the headline 'Call for end to pension poverty'. GMTV asked its viewers whether they could live off £90 per week - the current basic pension. Regional press wrote about local people attending the protest.

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