Grahame Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Easington

Work Till You Drop

August 22, 2019 Blog 0

The Centre for Social Justice, Iain Duncan Smith’s right-wing Conservative Think Tank, which championed Universal Credit, is calling for the State Pension Age to rise to 75 by 2035.

The CSJ’s recommendation:

“The SPA (state pension age) should better reflect the longer life expectancies that we now enjoy and be used to support the fiscal balance of the nation. The SPA in the UK is set to rise to 66 by 2020 (Pensions Act 2011), to 67 between 2026 and 2028 (State Pension Act 2014) and to 68 between 2044 and 2046 (State Pension Act 2007).

“We propose accelerating the SPA increase to 70 by 2028 and then 75 by 2035. This will ensure the OADR (Old Age Dependency Ratio) remains in the range of 20 to 25 for the next 20 years and would significantly improve the countries projected fiscal position.”

Warning: Voting Conservative may put your retirement at risk. The health warning is unlikely to feature on election material anytime soon, however, history shows such warnings are needed. The retirement plans for millions of people were thrown into turmoil when the Tories and the Liberal Democrats agreed to accelerate the increase to the State Pension Age. The WASPI Campaign (Women Against State Pension Inequality), those worst affected by the changes, continue to demand justice taking their case to the high court.

Boris Johnson showed his comedic side when he re-appointed Guy Opperman as Pensions Minister, who in a Parliamentary debate suggested that WASPI women sign up for apprenticeships, when really, they should have been receiving their pensions.

Pensioners have been betrayed yet again by the Conservative government, when they broke a manifesto commitment to protect free TV licences. As we now know, the government have means tested free TV licences, making them available only to those in receipt of Pension Credits.

What’s next?

A looming election has the Conservative Think Tanks pushing out policy. One of the most alarming policies has come from the architect of Universal Credit, former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and ex-Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, CSJ Think Tank, who want to increase the State Pension Age to 75.

Iain Duncan Smith tweeted his approval: “Removing barriers for older people to working longer has the potential to improve health and wellbeing, increase retirement savings and ensure the full functioning of public services for all.”

The working life of Iain Duncan Smith is considerably different to people in manual occupations. It is much easier to be sitting in an office at 74, than making your way to a building site. Neither will Iain Duncan Smith be dependant on his State Pension to fund his retirement. The gig economy is eroding workers’ rights and holding down pay. The option to save for your retirement is a luxury many people do not enjoy.

The UK already has the lowest state pensions in the developed world, and many will never see retirement if they are forced to work into their 70s. The worst affect will be people in our region many of whom work in demanding occupations.

What more can the Tories demand from working people, who have seen their workplace rights and pay eroded to cover the cost of bailing out the city and financial speculators. Our children are denied access to affordable housing, free education or a job that pays a living wage.

They now want to take away your retirement.

The Tories ‘Work Til You Drop’ beliefs will remove the worry about being unable to save for your retirement, as they are committed to stopping you reaching your retirement.