Minister ready for a pensions grilling

Rita Walsh

Rita Walsh

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THE Pensions Minister is to receive a grilling in Blackpool at this year’s Pensioners’ Parliament.

Steve Webb will face a question and answer session before hundreds of delegates when he visits the resort on Wednesday.

Around 1,500 members of the National Pensioners Convention are expected to travel into town for the three day event being held at Winter Gardens.

It will begin on Tuesday with Delegates marching from Blackpool Tower to the town centre led by a jazz band at 1pm.

And with a packed programme tackling a number of high-profile issues, the minister can expect a grilling according to Rita Walsh from Blackpool Senior Voice Forum. She said: “I’m sure Steve Webb will have some serious questions to answer when he comes to the Parliament.

“Elderly people in Blackpool are very concerned about cuts to care services and rehabilitation so we will be raising this.

“The Winter Fuel allowance is another area we want to talk about.

“The parliament is a great event, and it gets very lively as we have a lot of discussion. People travel from all over the country to attend

There will be sessions on pensions, care, NHS reforms, the Big Society and age discrimination.

On Tuesday, a two-hour rally will be held to discuss Post Office privatisation.

Karen Jennings of Unison will be talking about the NHS reforms, Richard Murphy will talk about tax justice and there will be a discussion on the contribution pensioners make to the economy,

Steve Webb will face the conference for the first time on Wednesday. In a question and answer session he is expected to talk about changes to the state pension, means-testing and fuel poverty. This will be followed by debates on NHS reforms, older people and the Big Society.