The Sun newspaper has found that workers could be forced to toll for even longer to get a state pension under a labour government.
Shadow Chancellor Ed balls yesterday (09/06/13) said that spending on pensioners would be included in his cap on welfare payments if the party wins power.
The Government has excluded it from the plan to cap the benefits bill because of it’s “triple lock”, which guarantees pension rise with earnings, inflation, or 2.5% whichever is highest.
Mr Balls told the BBC that cash paid to pensioners is too much to ignore.
“Many people will not realise that the clear, large bulk of welfare spending is, in fact, going to people over 60,” he said.
Mr Balls failed to rule out blocking rises in pensions under the triple lock, saying “that is not our intention”. opponents seized on his remarks, which came days after the Shadow Chancellor said Labour would scrap winter fuel allowance for comfortably off pensioners. The Tory Treasury Twitter feed claimed: “Ed Balls has revealed what labour really mean when they talk about controlling the welfare bill – cutting the state pension”.
That was rejected by a Labour spokesman who said “Labour supports the triple lock on the state pension. But, as Ed Balls said, it would be perverse to exclude overall spending on pensioners and the impact of an ageing society from any sensible and long-term fiscal plan to monitor and control structural social security spending.”
However, the party did not rule out fresh rises in the state pension age – which has already been hiked by Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
It will rise to 66 in 2020 and 67 from 2026 under the Tory Cabinet minister’s plans, which hit the poorest hardest because they die younger than the better-off.
Mr Balls played down the prospect of scrapping pensioners’ free bus passes and TV licences.
But he insisted that payments to the elderly cannot be excluded from the cap.
Mr Balls said: “For the cap to work vigorously we have got to be looking ahead and I have got to be saying to these spending ministers, “Look three years ahead. You are going off track – do what needs to be done now.”
We agree with the Sun that Ed Balls and Ed Miliband should stand up for hard working families, not require them to work harder for longer causing obvious potential health problems for them.
Occupations such as lawyers and stock brokers mightn’t worry about a few extra years but it could kill manual workers.
We seem to be drifting slowly in the coming years where it’s a case of “lets save money possibly but ruin and lose lives along the way”.