Published on 06 December 2013 10:00 AM
On changes to the State Pension Age
“Raising the State Pension Age for future generations will be especially tough on people with lower life expectancy – who are likely to be on low incomes. National averages mask significant differences in life expectancy across the country and between different groups of people. It will be tough on those in poor health who cannot work, or who are caring for others.
“This increase must also be matched by real efforts to tackle age discrimination in the job market. People who lose their jobs in their fifties and sixties find it very difficult to get new employment, and being out of work in the years before retirement can have a devastating impact on the income people receive after retirement.
“If people are going to have to wait longer before they receive their State Pension it is all the more important that it is worth having once they get it. So the Government must secure the ‘triple lock’ – which ensures the value of the State Pension does not decline – in legislation. It has the perfect opportunity to do so in the Pensions Bill, which is currently before Parliament.”
On changes to energy bills
“With 1,900 excess winter deaths in Wales last year, in part due to cold homes, the Chancellor missed a major opportunity today to tackle the root cause of the problem – the UK’s poorly insulated housing stock. While many people will welcome a slight reduction in their energy bills, a far better strategy would be to focus on improving energy efficiency so that everyone can keep adequately warm at an affordable price – not just now but in the future too.
“We firmly believe that the only sustainable solution to the scourge of fuel poverty and escalating energy prices is a major overhaul of our poorly insulated housing, to ensure that cold homes are a thing of the past.”