March 16, 2005 12:00 AM

The Liberal Democrats have launched the most generous package for older people on offer from any major political party.

Among other proposals in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto for Older People, 12,941 pensioners in Sutton aged over 75 will get more than £100 a month extra on their pension, or more than £140 a month for a pensioner couple.

Local Liberal Democrat MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow have warmly welcomed the plans.

Tom Brake declared,

"It's time that older people were treated with the respect they deserve by politicians.

"The Liberal Democrat message to older citizens is: we understand our debt to you. We have the policies that will deliver you a fair deal in your retirement."

"The Liberal Democrats' proposals will lift the most vulnerable pensioners out of poverty and tackle the scandal where so many women pensioners are not entitled to a basic pension in their own right.

"Our plans to scrap Council Tax will benefit eight million pensioners, with six million paying no local tax at all. Pensioners would save far more than under the Conservatives' rebate proposal.

Paul Burstow added,

" It is wrong that older people have to pay for basic care such as help with feeding, dressing and washing . We will scrap the charges for personal care for older people .

"Neither of the other parties are offering any of these policies. This will be by far the best deal on offer to pensioners from any party at the coming general election.

"Our carefully costed package is worth nearly £7 billion a year over and above what Labour is currently offering to pensioners - and over £4 billion more than the Conservatives.

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