Iain Duncan Smith welcomes Government action on the future pension age

19th July 2017

Iain Duncan Smith welcomes Government action on the future pension age which, if we did nothing, will cost future generations £250 billion more.

I commend my right hon. Friend for his statement. The Labour party used to work on a consensual basis, given the facts, but it has now departed from that. He is aware that we have a proud track record in reform, for example, in respect of automatic enrolment and the single tier. We also got rid of the default retirement age, where people were forced to retire when they did not want to do so. It is the Conservatives who have a proud record. The single figure that stands out starkly from this review is that if we do nothing about this, it will cost £250 billion more. That is not just a figure, as it will be borne by future generations, as they will have to pay excessive moneys. Given that the Labour party at the last election promised to get rid of the student debt and now reneges on that, does my right hon. Friend think that Labour will be doing the same very shortly on this one?

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. He makes some good points about the work the Government have done over the past seven years in terms of fuller working lives and helping more people to work longer, and he has a proud personal record in what he did on that as Secretary of State. He is absolutely right to highlight the irresponsibility of the position Labour Members had at the last election. Just as they have walked away from a deeply irresponsible position on student debt, I hope they will walk away from a deeply irresponsible position on the state pension age.

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