BREXIT has dominated most of the discussion in Westminster over the last month.

However, on the eve of the ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s deal, the Government announced changes to pension credit. 

I believe they had hoped this announcement would be lost in the mayhem that has been taking place in the UK Parliament over the last few months. 

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced it will introduce changes to pension credit that will have an impact on couples of different ages. Currently, couples can claim pension credit of £255.25 when one of them reaches the age of 65. However, the new rules being implemented by the UK Government mean that couples where only one person is over the state pension age will no longer be able to claim Pension Credit.

These changes will be introduced from May 15 and will mean that some people will only be able to claim Universal Credit which could see some of our poorest pensioners around £7,000 per year worse off. This is an absolutely scandalous situation and the SNP is firmly against this move. 

If these changes go ahead, some of our poorest pensioners will be punished simply for having a younger partner. This policy puts couples in the absurd position that they are actually financially better off living apart. Yet again the UK Government has completely botched a pension policy and targeted those financially worse off.

The UK Government has repeatedly shown nothing but disdain for our pensioners.

As many of you will be aware, I have been a big supporter of the WASPI campaign that has seen women who were born in the 1950’s being robbed of their pension due to unfair changes made by the UK government. Time and time again I have asked the Tories to look into this policy and give these women the justice they deserve. However, time and time again the UK government ignore the WASPI women. I have genuinely lost count of the amount of times we have debated the issue and still no solution has been found. 

Last week my colleague Ian Blackford MP highlighted the blatant attack on pensioners during Prime Ministers Questions. The weak excuse the UK Government keep repeating is that it is the responsibility of the Scottish Government to right the wrongs for pensioners that have been created in Westminster. Let me be clear, pension’s policy is not devolved to the Scottish Parliament, it is reserved to the UK Parliament. The Scottish Government is unable to create any new pension or any old-age benefit due to the restrictions in section 28 of the Scotland Act 2016. 

I also had the pleasure recently of going along and visiting the students taking part in the Parliamentary Studies class at the University of the West of Scotland campus in Paisley. This is the fourth year now I have taken part in the seminar. I always enjoy visiting this particular class as the students ask some of the more challenging questions I am faced with. I wish all of them the best of luck.