TORY DECISION TO RAISE PENSION AGE MORE THAN DOUBLES POVERTY RATE FOR 65-YEAR OLDS

Patricia Gibson MP, who has spoken in every Westminster Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) debate since she was elected in 2015 has condemned the Tories for increasing pensioner poverty.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, around one in seven (14%) 65-year-olds were in income poverty in late 2020 as a direct consequence of the Tory Government increasing the state pension age from 65 to 66.

Between late 2018 and late 2020, the UK state pension age rose from 65 to 66, leaving around 700,000 65-year-olds in the UK waiting another year before they could receive a state pension.

The key impact of this was that 65-year-olds missed out on state pension income of £142 per week on average, the think tank said.

The report said:

“The reform caused absolute income poverty rates (after accounting for housing costs) among 65-year-olds to climb to 24%, some 14 percentage points higher than – or more than double – the 10% that we estimate it would have been had the state pension age remained at 65.”

Research conducted by the House of Commons Library in 2021 already confirmed that the UK has the lowest state pension out of all neighbouring countries.

Patricia commented:

“These figures are worrying in the immediate term, showing a massive increase in poverty rates among those who should otherwise be receiving their state pension as a result of the Tories' misguided plans to increase the state pension age.

“People who have worked hard their entire lives deserve better than to be told they must wait even longer to receive the pension they have worked and paid towards, and which now faces further cuts with the removal of the triple lock costing pensioners £500 a year.

“Independent countries in Europe, of similar size to Scotland – such as Ireland or Denmark – have significantly higher pensions, as well as lower levels of poverty and inequality.

“This latest analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirms one thing - only independence can protect Scotland’s pensioners from this toxic Westminster system.”

The report can be found at:

https://ifs.org.uk/uploads/R211-How-did-increasing-the-state-pension-age-affect-household-incomes.pdf

ENDS