Weir questions UK government’s claims

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Angus MP Mike Weir has pointed to the analysis by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies which discloses that the UK coalition government’s latest pension reforms did not, as they had claimed, help working mothers.

The long awaited proposals for a new flat rate state pension were almost instantly derided by the IFS “as is often the case with pension reforms – the overall effects will be more complex and in the long run will be to reduce pensions for the vast majority of people.”

The IFS also stated that those who have children and took time out of their contributions would be worse off : “the reform will not increase pension accrual for part time workers and women who take time out to care for children. In fact, in common with almost everyone else, these groups would end up with a lower pension at the state pension age under the new system than they would do under the current system.”

Commenting on proposals Mr Weir said: “Whilst in principle a flat rate pension is a good idea it is always wise to look at the fine print of any proposal brought forward by the Coalition, and yet again we see that the headline claims do not sand up to scrutiny. In the long run workers who take time off for child care, principally women, and part time workers, will be worse of with these proposals. The independent IFS analysis makes it clear that the main effect of these reforms will be to reduce pensions for the majority of people.

“On top of the cuts already put in place for public sector pensions, the child benefit changes hitting some families by up to £1,300 a year and the impact of serious cutbacks in support for vulnerable people the UK Government are cutting back on support people need in difficult times.”

“People in Scotland have an alternative. With a Yes vote in next year’s referendum we could set pensions policy, which is more affordable in Scotland, in the best interests of the people of Scotland, ensuring proper equality of pensions and protection for all.”