The state pension age could be raised to 66 as soon as 2016, with ministers floating the possibility that it could rise in future to 70. Trade unions are warning that the measures could lead to a ‘work until you drop’ culture. Labour had planned to increase the state retirement age to 66 in 2024 and then gradually to 68 by 2046.
Meanwhile, the government’s attempts to cast its emergency Budget as “progressive” lasted all of two days before the Institute for Fiscal Studies put the boot in.
Yesterday the IFS – worshipped by financial journalists as possessed with papal infallibility – described the progressive label as “debatable”, given that it can only apply if Labour government measures are taken into account.
Meanwhile, the government has confirmed that all regional development agencies will be axed within two years. Some RDAs are likely to be replaced by local enterprise partnerships (LEPs).