So the Daily Mail the other day proclaimed from its front page that it was disgusting that in a ‘civilised’ (their punctuation) such as ours, it is “disgusting to even think about raising the retirement age”. It went on to insist on “dignity in retirement”.
I agree with the second point, but why should retirement begin at 65 and not later? But the Mail would go ballistic if taxes went up to pay for its pensions demands (the Express complained about drastic tax rises to pay for pensions rather than about the retirement age on its front page).
When Beveridge’s contributory state pension was introduced, the life expectancy for men was 63 – two years younger than his male retirement age of 65. Now average life expectancy is pushing 80 and will be higher in the future (when the critical pensions will need to be drawn). In the Mail‘s world (and I know I should just ignore it), you should be entitled to 30 years retirement on a good income for working maybe 40 years previously. Is it surprising that that attitude has caused a crisis?
And now the PM is suggesting using incapacity benefit funds to pay for pensions. While I’m sure there are some claimants who could be helped into work, it sounds suspiciously like robbing Peter to pay Paul.