Theresa May is trying to “pitch the young against the old” by planning to scrap the pension triple lock and universal winter fuel allowance, Jeremy Corbyn is warning.
The Labour leader is stepping up his attack on the Prime Minister over her manifesto pledges, which he claims amount to a “triple whammy of misery” for pensioners.
Mrs May has insisted she is committed to protecting the dignity of Britain’s elderly as her plans to cut pensioner benefits and overhaul social care funding came under fire.
Mr Corbyn will use a campaign rally speech in Birmingham on Saturday to call on the Tory leader to immediately drop the “anti-pensioner package” which formed a central part of her manifesto plan to tackle the major challenges facing the UK.
As well as the proposal to means-test the winter fuel allowance and end the triple lock which guarantees the state pension rises by at least 2.5%, the manifesto contained plans for a radical shake-up of social care funding which could see more elderly people paying to be looked after in their own home.
Mrs May has already come under pressure from senior Conservative Sarah Wollaston, who said scrapping the planned cap on care costs would leave people facing a “miserable lottery” when it came to funding their future care needs.
To compound Mrs May’s difficulties, it emerged Tory plans would mean pensioners in Scotland escape the means-testing for the winter fuel allowance – worth up to £300.
The Scottish Conservatives’ manifesto said devolution allowed them to make “different choices” on social security matters and that the allowance would be protected for all older people.
Labour views the Tory plans as an opportunity to woo the so-called “grey vote” ahead of the June 8 General Election, an important group as elderly people are more likely to turn out on polling day.
Mr Corbyn will say: “Where the Tories look to divide, Labour seeks to bring people together.
“The Tories are now trying to pitch the young against the old. Their manifesto is a typical nasty party attempt to set generations against each other.
“For pensioners they offer a triple whammy of misery, ending the triple lock which protects pensioner incomes, means-testing the winter fuel allowance and slapping a ‘dementia tax’ on those who need social care by making them pay for it with their homes.
“Some claim that cutting support for the elderly is necessary to give more help to the young. But young people are being offered no hope by the Tories either – loaded up with tuition fee debts and next to no chance of a home of their own.
“Labour stands for unity across all ages and regions. It is simply wrong to claim that young people can only be given a fair deal at the expense of the old, or vice versa. We all depend on each other.
“That’s why we are calling on the Tories to drop their anti-pensioner package immediately – older people should not be used as a political football.”