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SNP: £30bn to moderate state pension age hike ‘right and fair’

Pensions-savings-retirement-piggy bank

The Scottish National Party’s pensions spokesman says spending £30bn to increase the state pension age more slowly reflects the Government’s responsibilities to British women.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Ian Blackford says the SNP is calling for increases in women’s state pension age to be slowed so that gender equality is reached in 2025.

He says: “If there was to be full mitigation of this out to 2025, the figures from the Government are £30bn.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to fully test those numbers but we’re talking about mitigation, not a structural increase in spending.

“That would be over a 10-year period and we should keep in mind that, if the Government does nothing, you’re still looking at additional spending on social security anyway. It’s not a zero-sum game. It is about what is right, fair and reasonable.”

A 1995 act of Parliament laid out initial plans to bring women’s state pension age in line with men’s starting from 2010, with equalisation reached in 2020.

However, the coalition government subsequently decided to accelerate the process so that women’s state pension age would reach 65 by November 2018, with a subsequent rise to 66 coming for both men and women coming by 2020.

Wingate Financial Planning director Alistair Cunningham calls the sum a “mind-blowing amount”.

He says: “Even spread over 10 years, £3bn is almost exactly what we get in from inheritance tax and that kind of figure seems bizarre.

“There is a thin segment of individuals who have been communicated to poorly and treated badly, but should we really deal with that by rolling back what is effectively now law over such a long period?”

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Mr Blackford talks about “right, fair and reasonable”. So is it fair to extend the period over which women receive preferential state pension treatment, without making some sort of mitigating adjustment for men to reduce the extent to which they are disadvantaged?

  2. Trevor Harrington 18th February 2016 at 2:41 pm

    You are missing the point. Fair and reasonable does not come into it.

    There is no money left.

    We desperately need to get politicians and policy makers, and all commentators beyond this point, once and for all.

    There is no money left.

    Only once we have all got this simple point permanently and indelibly “on board” can we, as a sensible society, discuss the next two critically important points –

    1) who spent it, and

    2) where has it gone.

    The first point is easy, because the last Labour government kindly left a note clearly admitting responsibility.

    The second point is answered by the huge increase in Government expenditure on salaries and other unjustifiable employment benefits for the middle and higher management in our public sector, over the last 30 years.

    The single most extravagant expenditure in that area is the amount which we have spent on their pensions, far too many of which are taken far too early, at enhanced benefit levels, justified on the basis of some dreamt up back complaint, or stress – neither of which are diagnosable.

    It is these “below the line” costs (employer contributions to Public Sector pensions – the bit which we pay) which have allowed our economy to run out of control, almost unnoticed, for far too long, for decades in fact, for which we can now say with some conviction ….

    There is no money left.

    Lets be absolutely clear – The only reason why state pension benefits have been altered at all (retirement ages have been increased and the amount of state pension has been reduced) is because we are running a massive budget deficit and we now reside with the largest national debt since the second world war.

    In effect, state pensions for us all have been reduced and deferred, because over decades we have spent the money on the public sector, notably their unaffordable pensions.

  3. And, that’s why 55 / 56 year old women now have to work until they drop. Its not fair to penalise women who were intending to retire at 60 and had planned for it for years and years and now have no chance to raise the amounts needed to secure their equivalent income until they get the state pension. They didn’t create the deficit but by god they’re paying for whoever did.

  4. Trevor Harrington 18th February 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Quite so James …. and even more to the point, those who would have retired if they had not had their state pension removed from them, are now occupying the “starter” type jobs which should have been given to the younger generations who are just starting out in working life …. if only we could get them out of bed in the mornings ….

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