Labour is taking its fight against state pension age increases on the road as it looks to win votes in cabinet members’ constituencies.
The Government announced that it would implement the recommendations of the independent Cridland review last month, bringing forward the increase in the state pension age to 68 by seven years.
Labour rejected the proposals, however, and has announced it will now meet with pensioners across the UK “to discuss how a future Labour government can provide dignity and security in retirement”.
The party has conducted analysis that shows that Chancellor Philip Hammond’s constituency will have 61,000 people affected by the sped up timetable, with 56,500 in Prime Minister Theresa May’s seat and Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke’s constituency being home to nearly 60,000.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams says: “Thanks to the Tories increasing the state pension age, 36.9 million people will be forced to work longer, at the same time that evidence indicates life expectancy has stalled in some places and is reducing in others.
“Conservative MPs must explain to the tens of thousands of people in their constituencies, why the burden of Tory austerity is being pushed onto them, while corporations and the richest individuals receive tax breaks.”
Labour is currently reviewing the possibility of a flexible retirement age.
AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: “Labour is clearly attempting to make state pensions politically toxic for the Conservatives. However, it is telling that while the party has rejected the recommendations of the independent Cridland report, it has not committed to spending more money on the state pension either.
“Labour has previously said it wants to take variations in life expectancy into account when deciding the future of the state pension – a laudable aim but one which risks creating a mire of complexity. That said there are reform ideas out there that merit serious consideration.”