New attacks on pensions imposed by UK Tory government
18 February 2019
Analysis compiled for the BBC has found that millions of workers in Britain will see pay cuts in the coming weeks, as the amount they have to pay in pension contributions increases. Twelve million workers who, since 2012, have automatically been signed up for workplace pensions, will see their contributions increase from 3 percent to 5 percent.
A study of the figures for the BBC by investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown found that someone on a salary as low as £15,000 a year will be down by £49, if they pay contributions on their entire salary. A worker on £30,000 will take home £253 less, it is estimated.
These attacks on living standards are on top of even more draconian pensions cuts rolled out last month by the Conservative government. Even as the first vote in Parliament took place to reject Prime Minister Theresa’s May Brexit EU deal—followed by failed vote of no confidence in her government—the Tories still found time to sneak out pension cuts under which many of the poorest people will lose thousands of pounds.
The cuts were announced by Guy Opperman, parliamentary undersecretary of state for pensions and financial inclusion, on the evening on January 14, just a day before Parliament’s Brexit vote.
Under a provision of the hated Universal Credit (UC) welfare system, thousands of the poorest pensioners will lose to up £7,000 annually. The key change will affect many couples defined as mixed age, where one partner is of state pension age and one is of a younger working age.
The state pension age for both men and women is currently 65 and is set to rise to 68 in stages in coming years for both men and women.
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