Plans to raise the retirement age to 70 were lambasted as “a betrayal of future generations” yesterday.
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC) said Chancellor George Osborne’s decision is based on inaccurate assumptions about life expectancy which, contrary to Tory claims, the Office for National Statistics says have fallen.
At age 65, men are now predicted to live a further 18 years compared with 19 years in 2009, and for women, life expectancy from 65 has fallen from 21.3 years to 20.6 years.
“The whole package is a betrayal of future generations based on dodgy data which is being used to support the government’s desire to undermine the welfare state and roll back public services,” said NPC general secretary Dot Gibson.
Public-sector union Unison also scorched the moves and called Mr Osborne’s protestations of economic recovery a “mirage” that bears no relation to the falling living standards of the majority.
General secretary Dave Prentis branded the delay in receiving pensions “cruel and unnecessary.”
He said: “Does anyone seriously expect a 70-year old paramedic or nurse attending them in a medical emergency?”
Construction union Ucatt described the news “as a kick in the teeth.”
General secretary Steve Murphy said: “More construction workers will find themselves in limbo, too old to work but too young to retire and will be forced into poverty relying on benefits to survive.”
But the union “cautiously” welcomed plans to close loopholes that allow workers to be classed as self-employed to save companies tax.
Mr Murphy said the bogus self-employment “blighted” the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers.
“Workers are denied holiday pay, sick pay and pension rights and can be sacked without warning.
“If the government is serious about removing payroll companies this is to be welcomed.
“However, it is only by ending false self-employment that the government will increase revenues and ensure workers are not denied even the most basic employment rights.”