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Clause 1 — Equalisation of and increase in pensionable age for men and women

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 18th October 2011.

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Photo of Gregg McClymont Gregg McClymont Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 5:15 pm, 18th October 2011

My hon. Friend makes a very good point. The Government are very good at finding money when they want to, yet, on issues that affect a significant number of women—half a million—and given the anxiety and financial cost involved, they just seem unmoved.

Let us reflect a little on the kind of women we are talking about. According to the Library, the median total private pension of a fit 56-year-old woman is £9,100. That is not £9,100 a year; that is £9,100 in total. The same figure for a man is closer to £53,000—and not only that: these women are more reliant than men on the state pension. Often, it is a woman’s only source of pension income, and 40% of such women have no private pension savings at all—[ Interruption. ] No one suggests that that is the Government’s fault, and that is a pretty simplistic suggestion from a sedentary position by the Minister, Maria Miller, but the fact is that 40% of these women whom the Government are going to make wait between one year and 18 months have no private pension. The state pension is all they have.