Osborne’s pension age plan slammed

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers the Autumn Statement.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers the Autumn Statement.
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Blackpool residents have slammed the Chancellor’s move to increase the pension age to almost 70.

George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement the age people can claim their state pension will go up to 69 by the late 2040s.

He said future taxpayers will be saved around £500bn by the changes which were necessary due to people
 living longer.

However, the state pension will increase by £2.95 a week from April.

The changes mean people now in their 40s will not now get the state pension until they are 68, while those in their 30s will have to wait another year until they are 69.

The news has brought bitter reaction in Blackpool where longevity is below the national average due to social and health issues.

Derek Barton, of the North West pensioners Group, said the assumption people would be living longer was not true and the move would penalise pensioners in towns like Blackpool.

He said: “My generation are living longer because as children in the 40s and 50s we had rationing with little red meat and lots of home grown vegetables.

“The younger generation today have fast food and less exercise. It is by no means certain that our grandchildren will reach the increased 
retirement age.”

“Also, what jobs are my grandchildren going to be able to do when they are in their 60s. There is no way they will be able to do physical work.”

Rita Walsh, from Blackpool’s Senior Voice Forum, said: “I am 72 and find it hard physically and would not like to have to work into my 70s.

“Who will want to employ people aged between 60 and 69? I am sure the people making these decsions will not be working until they are 70.”

Donna Mills, 25, from central Blackpool, said she didn’t know when people of her generation would finally get to retire.

She said: “I’m going to be working until I’m about 80 – the age just keeps on rising and rising.

“I just think it’s absolutely shocking. It’s disgusting that they keep putting the age up.”

Taxi driver Richard Laidler,63, of Carleton Avenue, said: “ It’s just a shame for the younger guy. They just keep moving the goalposts further away from us. In a way, I’m glad I am not 40 or I would end up being 75 before they let me have any money.”

John Cherry, 51, Hawes Side Lane, said: “I don’t think it’s fair. You should not have to work if you have earned a pension and you have put it in for 30 odd or 40 years and you want to retire at 65.

“It’s not fair to make everybody work just because of shortfalls in pension funds.”

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