It is blatantly unfair that 61,187 people in my constituency face an extension to their retirement age from 66 to 68, from 2037, whilst the Government is giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest across the UK.
As Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions, I have been holding a UK-wide state pension tour. I have created this tour so I can meet with pensioner groups and local residents across the UK to discuss how a future Labour government can provide dignity and security in retirement.
Thanks to the Tories increasing the state pension age, 38 million people across the UK will be forced to work longer, at the same time that evidence indicates life expectancy has stalled in some places and is reducing in others.
According to the Director of Public Health England, most pensioners will now spend their retirement battling a ‘toxic cocktail’ of ill health, with men on average only expected to live in good health until 63, five years earlier than the brought forward state pension age of 68. While women expect to see signs at 64.
It’s astonishing that the Government chooses to ignore this vital evidence, and push ahead with its plans to make us all work longer.
No more proof can now be needed that the Tories’ austerity agenda is driven by ideology and not evidence.
Labour will keep the state pension age at 66 and my tour will help us review, as part of our commitment to people powered politics, the pension system, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few.