The Tory-led Government last night faced heavy criticism from MPs from all sides of the House over plans to increase the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 by 2018 and then increase both men’s and women’s state pension ages to 66 by 2020.
The Coalition agreement originally promised not to increase the state pension age to 66 for women until 2020 but have now reneged on it.
During a debate in the House of Commons on the Government’s Pensions Bill Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham spoke out against the plans, which will see 330,000 women born between December 1953 and October 1954 have to wait 18 months or two years longer for their state pension.
During the debate Alex spoke about the large number of letters, emails and phone calls he has received from women in his constituency who are worried about the plans, saying:
“People need sufficient time to plan for the increase in the state pension age, and the changes are happening too fast and causing a lot of worry and anger. It will be the poorest women who suffer the most as a result of the government’s plans, those who do not have savings to fall back on and are in low-paid jobs.”
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith MP, refused to back down on the plans but did say he was “willing to work to get this transition right”.
More than 170 MPs, including Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers, have signed an Early Day Motion calling for a rethink of the plans.