I was shocked and dismayed to hear that proposals had been made by the right-wing thinktank, ‘The Centre for Social Justice’, to increase the pension age to 75 by 2035. This is the same thinktank that ushered in the unremitting failure that is ‘Universal Credit’. This is not yet Government policy, but it is alarming to read that the ideologues the Tories look to for policy advice have such a flagrant disregard for the working population.
This is an outrageous suggestion, deserving only contempt. The British people have toiled, paid their taxes and National Insurance contributions for decades with the expectation that, at the very least, they would receive a basic income during their retirement. Instead, the mindset of the right is to eke out every penny from our working population, and force them into labour until they drop.
It is no surprise that this will hit the most vulnerable the hardest. It is ridiculous to think that manual labourers will still be working until they are 75 – how on Earth can a responsible and caring society expect that of its people? Similarly, it will not be the poor taking early retirement on a healthy nest-egg, but the already wealthy, for whom this proposal would barely impact. This notion would genuinely lead to 74 year olds in the queue at the Job Centre for unemployment benefits.
Compounding this, we already know that it is difficult getting a job for over-50s, as age discrimination is rife within the employment market. If the Government truly wants to encourage people to work, they should be looking into making it a more level playing field for older people to compete robustly in the job market.
Britain has an ageing workforce, and this proposal would do nothing to economically motivate them – it would merely condemn them to hardship, poverty, deterioration of health and suffering. I urge the Government in the strongest possible terms to disregard this Iain Duncan-Smith-inspired lunacy.