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GREY SKY'S THE LIMIT; Two parties for OAPs.

Byline: MAGNUS GARDHAM

TWO new political parties bidding to win the pensioners' vote were unveiled yesterday.

In an amazing coincidence, the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party and the Pensioners Party were launched within hours of each other.

In another coincidence, both parties have a Mr Rodger in their leadership teams.

Less surprisingly though, both pledged to fight for bigger pensions and a better deal for OAPs.

The SSCUP, led by Motherwell FC director John Swinburne, 72, and retired headteacher Russell Rodger, 63, plans to field candidates right across Scotland in the Holyrood election.

The Pensioner Party, led by former Fife mineworker George Rodger, 67, aims to target areas including the north east, Mid Scotland and Fife and Lothians.

Both parties hope to pick up seats in the top-up list.

Asked about his namesake, George Rodger, of the Pensioners Party, said: "I've not heard of Mr Swinburne and I've not heard of Mr Rodger either."

The PP will campaign for free public transport across Scotland, free residential accommodation and a rise in pensions.

Mr Rodger added: "We are looking for social justice.

"The 75p increase on pensions came at about the same time 115 out of 129 MSPs voted themselves a 14 per cent rise on their salaries.

"I found their greed disgusting, and decided it was time we tried to do away with the enforced poverty that pensioners live in today."

The SSCUP will campaign for better transport, health and benefits for OAPs.

But its key aim is for Scotland to gain the power to set its own pensions.

Mr Swinburne said: "We want a referendum to have all the remaining powers devolved from Westminster to Holyrood."

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TODAY'S TOPIC Does Scotland need two political parties to represent OAPs?
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Feb 5, 2003
Words:293
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