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The UK government has been accused of ‘failing working-class communities’ over reports Ministers are planning to raise the state pension age to 68.

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has warned that Scots face having to ‘work till they drop’ as Tory Ministers seek to accelerate plans to further hike the UK’s retirement age.

The state pension age is already due to rise from 66 to 67 by 2028. The next increase – to 68 – was not due to happen until 2046, but UK Ministers have reportedly agreed to fast-track plans ahead of the Spring Budget Statement.

It comes in the wake of a damning new report which revealed the UK government’s state pension is failing to support the minimum standard of living.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association published its annual retirement living standard report, which shows the income required to maintain a basic standard of living has massively outstripped the rate of state pension. 

To date, the income needed for a minimum retirement living standard now sits at £12,800 – a shortfall of almost £2,000 for those on the full flat rate of state pension.

According to the latest DWP figures, more than 16,000 people in West Dunbartonshire are currently in receipt of the state pension.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The Tory UK government’s callous plans to raise the state pension age to 68 would have a disastrous impact on Scotland’s working-class communities.

“Life expectancy rates in West Dunbartonshire and other areas of deprivation mean that many 1970s-born Scots face having to work until they drop.

“After promising Scots that voting No in 2014 would guarantee their pensions, we’re seeing soaring rates of pensioners living in poverty – and a state pension barely fit for purpose.

“The 1950s-born WASPI women have been treated appallingly by the UK government, due to changes to the state pension age. And now millions more face having their retirement plans ripped apart.

“Westminster is failing our communities. It’s only with the full powers of independence that we can protect Scotland’s pensions, and build a fairer, more prosperous country.”

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