by Les MayLAST Saturday's Rochdale Observer carried a letter by Andrew Kearney praising the 'admirable work done by Simon Danczuk', and accusing Lib-Dem councillor Andy Kelly of 'opportunistic grandstanding in the press' for commenting on the stories about Danczuk's recent antics. Ironically this letter was just above a piece of typical Danczuk opportunism.
Danczuk used his 'Talking Politics' column to complain about the effects on women of the decision in 2011, to accelerate the rate at which the age at which a state retirement pension is payable was to be equalised for men and women.
According to Danczuk:
'Budgets have been ruined, long-held retirement dreams abandoned and caring commitments compromised.'
Now as usual with Danczuk this is a bit OTT. As he admits under the 1995 Pensions Act the state pension age for women would be gradually raised to 65 to be equal to that for men in 2020. In fact even under the accelerated changes the equalisation will take place just one year early in 2019. After this the pension age will rise to 67 for someone born in the second half of 1961 or later.
What Danczuk does not feel worthy of mention is that these changes will affect men too. The age at which men become eligible for a 'free bus pass' is tied to the age at which women receive the state pension. It goes without saying that the age at which men have been getting their pension all these years is 65.