Over 14,000 people in Reading, Woodley and Caversham will lose out by £10,000 each under Government’s plans for state pension age change.

New analysis by the House of Commons Library has revealed that 14,300 people in Reading East are affected. Across the country 7.6 million people will lose out by nearly £10,000 each under the Government’s plans to bring forward changes to the state pension age. 1,066,000 people will lose out in the South East. The change will affect all men and women currently between the age of 39 and 47, who will be forced to work a year longer before they can access their state pension entitlement.

The Government’s announcement of their plans to bring forward changes to the state pension age came at the end of the last session of parliament – more than two months after their legal deadline, 7 May 2017, evading debate on the issue leading up to the General Election. The announcement was heavily criticised, as it followed evidence from the renowned expert on life expectancy, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who just days before had described how a century-long rise in life expectancy was “pretty close to having ground to a halt”. Professor Marmot pointed to 2010 as the turning point, when the Government began its austerity programme.

Just over a fortnight ago, the Government’s own advisory body, Public Health England, had published data showing significant disparities in Healthy Life Expectancy. For example, it showed how on average a man living in Nottingham would be only be expected to live in good health until the age of 57, a full eleven years earlier than the Government’s newly timetabled state pension age increase to 68.

A Director of Public Health England described how the average pensioner will now have to deal with a “toxic cocktail” of ill health throughout their whole retirement, and for some years before.

Speaking about the impact this will have on over 14,300 of his constituents from the Reading East area, MP Matt Rodda said:

This is outrageous. Many local people are due to be hit very hard by these proposals; the Government needs to rethink this scheme.”

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:

This is a disgraceful and unjustified attack on the state pension by this Government, who are asking millions of people to work longer to pay for their failing austerity plans.

Labour want to take a measured approach, leaving the state pension age at 66 while we review the evidence emerging around life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, considering how we can best protect those doing demanding jobs and the contributions they have already made.”

Image: ©UK Parliament

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