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

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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?”