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No exclusions from debate

The article headlined, Thinktank calls for consensus to cut out ABI and TUC views, October 13, seemed to imply that the IPPR believes in cutting out the ABI and TUC from the pension debate. You cannot and should not exclude anyone from the debate. The IPPR had argued that any consensus on pensions was likely to include a rise in the state pension age and the end of NI rebates for contracting out. Therefore, it was unlikely to include either the TUC or the ABI.

Ironically, since the article was written, the Government has changed its position on raising the normal retirement age for public sector workers to 65. This will makes it difficult to envisage the Government being able to argue for any increase in the state pension age. This puts the TUC and the Government in agreement but outside the likely consensus that may be reflected in the final report of the Turner Commission.

Peter Robinson

Senior economist,

IPPR,

Matt Jackson

Senior media officer

IPPR,

London

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