Labour shadow minister highlights opposition to state pension age change in visit

Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions met with pensioners and local residents at the Fishergate Community Centre
Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour's Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions met with pensioners and local residents at the Fishergate Community Centre

Labour’s opposition to increasing the state pension age was highlighted during a shadow minister’s visit to Fishersgate this week.

Debbie Abrahams, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, met with pensioners and residents at the Fishersgate Community Centre on Tuesday (September 5) to discuss how a future Labour Government can provide dignity and security in retirement.

People born between 1970 and 1978 will have to wait until they are 68 to claim the state pension, a change affecting around seven million people in their late 30s and early 40s.

Analysis by the Labour Party claims that around 12,200 people who are currently under 48 would be affected in the East Worthing and Shoreham constituency.

Ms Abrahams said: “It was great to visit East Worthing and Shoreham today, one of Labour’s top target seats for the next general election.

“Thanks to the Tories increasing the state pension age, over seven million people will be forced to work longer, at the same time that evidence indicates life expectancy has stalled in some places and is reducing in others.

“The Tories must explain to the tens of thousands of people in their constituencies why the burden of Tory austerity is being pushed onto them, whilst corporations and the richest individuals receive tax breaks.

“Labour will leave the state pension age at 66 while we look at the latest evidence.

“This tour will help us to better understand people’s experience of the pension system, with a view to guaranteeing a secure and healthy retirement for the many, not just the few.”

East Worthing and Shoreham has been represented by Conservative MP Tim Loughton since 1997.

However at June’s general election, Labour’s Sophie Cook slashed his majority from just under 15,000 to around 5,000 votes.

When announcing the Government proposals in July, Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke argued the changes would create ‘fairness across the generations, and the certainty which people need to plan for old age’.