Footslogging through the data still has an important role to play in holding slippery public officials and hypocritical apologists to account. Yorkshire artist Aileen Barnard yesterday tweeted in relation to the page capture above. It is from 2004, and shows, in the Government’s Quick Guide to Pensions, the following firmly predictive pledge in plain English:
‘IN 2020 WHEN THE STATE PENSION AGE FOR WOMEN IS RAISED FROM 60 TO 65’
It is important to deconstruct this sentence in full, to ensure that no ‘spin’ is attempted in suggesting that the meaning of it is in some way open to more than one interpretation.
It is not. It does not say ‘By 2020 the SPA will have risen‘. It says ‘In’. There’s no ‘if’, only a ‘when’. It says ‘In 2020 from 60 to 65′.
The ramifications of this are enormous:
- It shows that fully nine years after 1950s born women were “told” of their pension ages rising (which was itself as clear a breaking of promise as you’ll find in the pension provision sector) official Government leaflets were still saying that women had until 2020 to prepare for the SPA rise.
- This gave the women affected sixteen years to prepare for medium term saving as a stopgap, and kept the age rise at 65. Not one single female born between 1951 and 1959 would’ve been affected at all……that was what they “knew” in 2004.
But following Aileen’s lead, I’ve been burrowing into events that came later still.
3. The Pensions Act of 2007 set the timetable for increasing the State Pension age from 65 to 68. So in just three years, women were going to have to wait, um, three more years.
4. However, in 2013, by which time the female SPA had miraculously gone up to 67 already, a government paper shows that the 2004 projections were wrong and that longevity had gone up by 1.1 years. A mistake made by Whiteminster (so let’s blame Waspis for being a bunch of airheads)….and, one might add, a convenient one. But it is still a somewhat deranged actuary who spots a longevity issue of 1.1 years, and puts that into his calculations as 6.5 years.
5. In the 2013 paper, we find the following damning admission: ‘We have already
brought the increase in State Pension age to 66 forward to 2020, and need to take further action now to bring forward the increase to 67’. Note: not to bring forward the year when it comes into force, but to increase the age by 1 year….to marry up with the changes since 2004, during which time they had already increased the age by six years without any reason whatsoever. The startpoint is still 2020 in 2013 – when over 340,000 women have already been told to wait.
6. The “policy objectives” clearly stated by the politician involved – Steve Webb – is stated as follows: ‘The policy objectives are to revise the timetable for increasing the State Pension age to 67 such that projected improvements in life expectancy are taken into account’. Webb must have known that the policy objective was utterly hypocritical, in that it was ignoring the projected improvements and falsifying them by a factor of more than six times.
Steve Webb condemned himself by signing up to this scam on 16th January 2013:
He is obviously an easy man to satisfy on the counts of ‘fair, reasonable and justified’. But then, Sir Steven John Webb (born 18 July 1965) is a British pensions commentator who was previously Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.
Screw a Waspi, win a Knighthood
This pitiful history of deceit is thus seen to implicate every major Party at Westminster.
We all owe a massive debt of gratitude to Aileen Barnard. She has 59 followers. I have, all up, 6,700. It’s high time something important beyond the size of the Kardiashian bum went viral. Let’s try and do this for all the women working so hard in the One Voice campaign against Britain’s For the Few not the Many political class. For there is an obvious imputation here: the Big Thing that happened between 2004 and 2013 was the banking crash.
Once again, it seems, the Banksters did their Robin Hood in Reverse act: robbing the poor to bale out the rich. And our politicians smoothed the way for them at every turn.