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TORY peer Ros Altmann condemned a Conservative-aligned think tank’s proposal to raise the state pension age (SPA) to 75 as “chilling and immoral” today.
The Centre of Social Justice – led by former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith — suggested ministers speed up the increase by hiking it from 65 to 70 by 2028, and to 75 by 2035.
Former pensions minister Baroness Altmann said it would be “a betrayal of hard-working people” if the government adopts the idea.
She had rarely seen a proposal “with the potential to do such damage” especially to people in disadvantaged parts of Britain who have shorter life expectancies, and those who are “burned out by tough manual work,” she added, in a sign Tories are rattled by the likely public reaction to the idea.
It comes after Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that the proposal published in a CSJ report last week would see people work “until they drop.”
The National Pensioners Convention said that the policy would be detrimental to vulnerable groups, and those who have had physically demanding jobs.
Ms Altmann said that the priority should be retraining people older than 50 to find jobs and tackling age discrimination in recruitment of workers.
In a column in the Daily Mail, she wrote: “It is an outrageous betrayal of people who have worked hard, paid their taxes and made their National Insurance [NI] contributions for decades in the expectation that they will receive at least a basic income so they can retire, rather than being forced to labour until they drop.”
The proposal gave rise to the “farcical prospect” that 74-year-olds who could not find work would have to go on the dole, she added.
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