Thursday, 31 August 2017

Debbie Abrahams MP debates state pensions!

Debbie Abrahams - Shadow Pensions Minister

THE UK state retirement age will probably be increased to 70 before many millennials - young people who are 18 to 35 today - retire and there won't be a pot left for  them  to piss in, because all the baby boomers born after WW11 will have gorged themselves on welfare benefits and left them with sweet FA.  Many of these baby boomers with their triple-lock pensions, have been Conservative Party voters and hard-line 'Brexiteers'.

I'm just at the back end of the baby boomers, born in the early 1950's.  No free bus pass for me at 60, but 66, assuming there are still free bus passes by 2020.  By then, I'll probably have a long white beard and a walking stick and possibly riddled with arthritis, and too ill to get on a bus.  However, if I lived in Wales, Scotland or NI, or an area of Greater London, I'd get a free bus pass at 60 but not in Labour controlled Greater Manchester, the home of the NORTHERN POORHOUSE.   And Labour are as much to blame for this, as the Tories.

While successive governments have increased the UK state retirement age, arguing that we're all living longer, we now know that since 2010, rises in life expectancy have stalled.  Researchers at the University of Manchester and York have found that while the rate of premature death in people under 45 was falling in the south, it was stagnating in the north.  In 2015, the number of premature deaths of people aged 35 to 44 was 50% higher in the north than the south.

It is argued that deindustrialisation in many parts of northern Britain, has led to precarious employment, unemployment, and increasing poverty.  Economic recession, along with the austerity programme and cuts to public spending, have resulted in an increase in deaths by suicide, - now the biggest cause of deaths of British men under 50 - substance abuse, and chronic health conditions among young people whose life chances and quality of life have worsened.  The university researchers also point out that the regional death gap has widened since the banking crisis and financial crash in 2008.

In his book 'The Health Gap 2015', Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology at University college London, argues that while we have the medical knowledge to improve public health, life expectancy and quality of life, good health, is far too important to be left solely to doctors.  He points out that good health is not just related to access to technical solutions but to the nature of society - "the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, have a profound influence on health and inequalities in childhood, working age and older age.  In short, levels of education, the social class we are born into, our income and wealth, and the region where we live, are all  factors which have a bearing on how long we will live. If you increase the age at which people can retire, then it is well known, that people who do heavy work in manual occupations are those ones who are most likely to die before reaching the state retirement age.

Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, Debbie Abrahams MP, has launched a national conversation with communities across the country to discuss State Pensions as part of the Labour Party’s commitment to ensure dignity and security in older age. She wants to hear your views and is inviting people to attend an event hosted by herself as part of a nation tour on:-

Date: Saturday 9th September
Time: 2pm
Venue: John Holt Centre, Birch Avenue, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 2NR

In a circular to Labour Party members Debbie Abrahams says:

"Older people have been badly let down by the Tories. During this year’s General Election they failed to provide transitional protection to women born in the 1950s who have had the increase in their State Pension Age accelerated; in addition, they failed to guarantee they would protect the State Pension ‘triple lock’ and Winter Fuel Allowance.

Most recently the Government announced that they will be accelerating the increase in the State Pension Age to 68 at the same time it was announced that increases in life expectancy had ‘ground to a halt’.

This contrasts to the Labour Party’s manifesto pledge to retain the triple lock and winter fuel allowance, as well as provide support for 1950s born women through pensions credit and further transitional protections.

Labour has also rejected the accelerated increase in the State Pension Age to 68 and are examining options for a flexible retirement age.
Please RSVP here.

If you have any additional access needs please email

Please pass this invitation on to others in your area who may be interested in attending.
See you there


Debbie Abrahams
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

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