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Labour and Govt clash over state pension reforms


Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne will today commit to fighting the Government’s state pension reform plans on the grounds that 700,000 women will be “short changed” under the new system.

The Department for Work and Pensions has published proposals to scrap state pension means testing in favour of a flat rate, single tier payment of £144 a week for future retirees. The new state pension will be introduced in 2016.

Byrne will give a speech to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce today arguing the reforms are “unfair” to women.

He says 700,000 women born between 1951 and 1953 will lose out under the new system.

Byrne says: “A flat rate pension is a good idea which we proposed in office. But we will not stand by and let ministers short change Britain’s pensioners. 

“David Cameron’s pensions changes have consistently hit working women. Now the Government’s flat rate pension plan will short change 700,000 women and offer just a second class pension in return for a lifetime’s work. 

“That’s not fair, it’s not right and Labour will campaign against it. We’ll campaign to improve this reform so the new flat rate pension is truly fair and doesn’t leave hundreds of thousands of women behind.”

Byrne will also pledge his support for “Australian-style” pension reforms in the UK which would see small, sub-scale schemes forced to merge.

Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “A major benefit of being able to introduce our state pension reforms from April 2016 is that every woman affected by the changes we made to the state pension age will have access to the new flat rate pension.

“For women born before April 1953, being able to draw their state pension up to four years before a man of the same age means most will be thousands of pounds better off over the course of their retirement.”


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There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It will be impossible to overhaul the system in a way that suits 100% of the population. If women born 1951 – 1953 are the only bracket at issue, then that is a relatively narrow impact. Soundbites.

  2. Not the only bracket at issue unfortunately, most will be disadvantaged, in fact the whole Bill is daylight robbery.

  3. Anything Government tinkers with ends up in a mess; be they a Labour or Tory Government.

    Look at the bloody mess Gordon Brown made of things during the last Labour Government.

    Same old “Punch & Judy” politics.


  4. Actually Mr Byrne I’ll be out of pocket and I was born in 1979!

    Allow me to re-opt out of the state pension and take my National Insurance Contributions and I’ll make my own provision thanks very much.

    If I want anything done quickly I need to go private. You can’t get an NHS dentist for love nor money.

    The main problem is that there are less contributors and more who willing to take what is ‘rightfully theirs’ whilst forgetting that they earn it!

    Until you fix that you’re always going to have to lower standards because there will be less to go round!

    The whole system is stuffed.

  5. George Morley 24th May 2013 at 5:20 pm

    So no mention of the frozen pensions then which is also not just unfair but totally dishonest treatment which is discriminatory, illogical and unnecessary with the reasons given for not unfreezing them failing to see the whole picture which is typical of the blind politicians who only want to see what suits them.
    No matter what agreements are signed it seems that they are going to ignore them anyway just like any letters that you send that are replied to with just a bland statement that ignores your questions.

  6. George Morley 25th May 2013 at 3:07 am

    Thev article says that Labour shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne will today commit to fighting the Government’s state pension reform plans on the grounds that 700,000 women will be “short changed” under the new system. We we can’t argue with that can we but where has he been prior to this new pension scheme. The frozen pension policy has been in operation for over 60 years and affects 550,000 pensioners.
    It goes on to say “That’s not fair, it’s not right and Labour will campaign against it.” -meaning the pension changes affecting the women so while you are about it Mr Byrne you can do the right and honourable thing by the frozen pensioners as well because that has been unfair for decades. Ok ?

  7. What about the women born in 1954 who have to wait an additional 18 months for their pension no other man or woman has to face a delay hen they are within 10 years of receiving their penions
    At least the womem born before April 1953 have only had one delay to when they can take their state pension. We are a smaller group so we do not matter.

  8. Pensions are not a ‘benefit’ they are a right because we pay for them with NICs.

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