A leading politician has visited Preston.
Liam Bryne, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, visited the city’s Flag Market last week to talk to members of the public about the effects of the economy on hard working families.
Mr Bryne joined with councillors in the city as part of his visit.
He was elected to the shadow cabinet after Labour lost the 2010 election and was asked by Ed Miliband to coordinate Labour’s policy review.
In January 2011 he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
He has written widely about the squeezed middle, public service reform, economic development, and shared values.
The radical shake-up of state pensions unveiled by the Government yesterday will leave up to half of pensioners worse off by 2060, it was claimed during the visit.
Ministers said their proposals would simplify the current complicated system and particularly benefit women, low earners and the self-employed, with a single flat rate state pension, equivalent to around £144 a week in today’s money, introduced for new pensioners from 2017.
But the Government’s White Paper revealed that a number of people will lose out, with Labour claiming that more than 400,000 women on the verge of retirement will miss out while men in the same position will still benefit.
Shadow pensions minister Greg McClymont said 429,000 women born between April 6, 1952, and July 6, 1953, will miss out on the new single tier pension, while men would controversially still be eligible.
Under the new system, around one in five people reaching state pension age after 2017 will be better off, less than one in 10 will be worse off and the others will see no difference. But the proportion who will be worse off will rise rapidly, with more than half of people reaching state pension age after 2060 left worse off.
There will be no further increase to the state pension age, which rises to 67 by 2028, but there will be a five-yearly review and 10 years’ notice of any further change.
The new single tier pension will be based on NI contributions, with 35 years of payments required to get a full pension.
Mr McClymont said: “What is your message to those 15 or 16 million pensioners in my calculation who will not be eligible for the new pension?”