Campaigners demand end to rise in state pension age at protest

Workers of today are the pensioners of tomorrow

pension age

A coalition of campaigners and trade unionists called on the government to rule out plans to raise the state pension age any further at a demonstration yesterday stating – 68 is too late.

Unite the union joined forces with the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) and the Scottish Pensioners Forum for the protest in London and Edinburgh against raising the state pension age any further.

Jon Trickett, Labour MP for Hemsworth, made a speech at the demonstration warning that the government will be met with ‘huge resistance’ if they raise the state pension age.

He compared the issue to that in France, where millions of protesters have come out in the past months against the pension reform bill which will increase the retirement age there from 62 to 64.

“It’s clear there’s been discussions among the ruling class across the world,” said Trickett.

“The one per cent has decided they are not satisfied with owning half the wealth, they want as much as they can.

“How are they going to do that? By driving down wages, salaries and conditions and by trying to drive up the level of pension age.

“It’s totally unacceptable. There has to be a fight back.”

In the UK, the state pension age is set to rise from 66 to 67 between 2026-28 with plans for a further review within two years to consider raising the age to 68.

The NPC believe the state pension age is already too high and cite existing inequalities and a stall in life expectancy as reasons a further rise is not acceptable.  

Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary told LFF the organisation hoped to get the Trades Union Congress on board, stressing this was a trade union issue that affects working people.

“Working class people have contribute to this economy and now they’re struggling,” said Shortt.

“State pensions are for the benefit of everyone. They are also the only thing now that is relevant to all four nations, as the pensions are still in the remit of Westminster.”

Shortt said raising the state pension age would negatively impact many older workers struggling with health conditions which affect their productivity at work. She also argued that the workers of today are the pensioners of tomorrow.

“Changes to the state pension age will not affect myself and others who have already retired, but it will affect our children and our grandchildren.

“They deserve to have a better retirement than the one that many current pensioners are experiencing.”

The Scottish pensioners campaign group announced disappointment that the DWP in Edinburgh refused to accept their petition against a state pension rise, signed by 38,000 people.

Apparent police involvement in the peaceful demonstration was deemed ‘shameful and unnecessary’ behaviour by the organisation, who carried out the demonstration in Edinburgh.

Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward

(Photo credit: National Pensioners Convention / Twitter)

Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

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