Con/Dems Raise Retirement Age

25 Jun 2010

Commenting on the announcement of the government’s plans to increase the state pension age for men, GMB National Pensions Officer, Naomi Cooke said:

“Once again the Tory-Liberal government is randomly legislating with no thought to the long term consequences of their cuts on individuals, society or the economy.  Following on from a regressive budget that did nothing for pensioners but confirm they had been misled over the triple guarantee for basic state pension increases that in reality is not being introduced until 2012, British pensioners must be wondering what’s coming next.

Despite all the words about fairness and protecting the vulnerable, all the government has done this week is ensure those on the lowest incomes suffer most.  With the increase in VAT, the £700m taken from the public sector pensions workers had already paid for and now the increase in state pension age, we have a combination that will dramatically increase the number of people reliant on the state in their later years.  This week’s announcements demonstrate that we now have a government that will agonise over taxes on the rich but cut the income of the poorest without a moment’s thought.

Increasing the state pension age only saves money if there are jobs available for older workers.  There is no evidence from the government’s actions so far that there is any move to create jobs in the UK let alone a plan to even out the country’s health inequalities.  Increasing the pension age to 66 will lead to Glaswegian men living only two years beyond pension age while those in Kensington & Chelsea can still expect a 22 year retirement.  Given those living in areas of the lowest life expectance are most reliant on their state pension it is obvious who is hit hardest by the government’s latest regressive announcement. Tory policies and Lib Dem presentation, is that really what the electorate voted for?”