Pension age rise '˜punishing Scots'

Opposition members have lashed out at the pension age increase stating that the changes will hit Scots the hardest.

Britain's Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke announced that the pension age would increase. Picture; PA
Britain's Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke announced that the pension age would increase. Picture; PA

Claims have been made that Scots will be hit disproportionately hard by the UK Government’s decision to raise the state pension age from 67 to 68 for six million men and women.

Anyone aged 39-47 will be affected by the change which is to be introduced as early as 2037.

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Derek Mackay, the Scottish Finance Secretary said that the change would force millions of people to wait longer to access their state entitlement saying: “This is particularly worrying given some parts of Scotland have low life expectancy due to historic and deeply-ingrained public health challenges.

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The TUC also condemned the move saying that the increase in the the state pension age “risks creating second-class citizens” as parts of the UK have a “higher than healthy life expectancy” with the SNP calling the move “Tory trickery” b David Gauke, the Work and Pensions Secretary said however that the move worked for everyone in the UK.

He said: “As it makes clear, the increases in life expectancy are to be celebrated and I want to make clear that, even[with] the timetable for the rise that I’m announcing today, future pensioners can still expect on average more than 22 years in receipt of the state pension,” explained Mr Gauke.

“But increasing longevity also presents challenges to the Government.

“There is a balance to be struck between funding of the state pension in years to come whilst also ensuring fairness for future generations of taxpayers.”

As a result, the Treasury will save £74 billion by 2045/46 compared with the previous proposals.

Official forecasts say that the number of people over state pension age is expected to grow from 12.4 million in 2017 to 16.9m in 2042.

Kirsty Blackman of the SNP deemed that the move was “utterly shameful” stating that she believed the government had delayed publication until after the General Election to avoid losing “even more seats”.

She said: “What we have witnessed today is an example of Tory trickery at its very worst.”

“The last-minute announcement raises serious concerns over the detrimental impact this change to the state pension age will have on people in different parts of the UK. The UK Government must make clear whether there will be measures brought forward that will address the potentially severe impact this will have on people in Scotland.”