Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:01 pm on 19th July 2017.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:01 pm, 19th July 2017

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. Even the last Labour Government, who were not known for their fiscal rectitude, legislated to increase the state pension age to 68. Yet on top of a long list of unaffordable spending pledges, the Labour party now happily makes pledges on the state pension that it must know will cause unsustainable damage to the public finances.

The facts are, based on the most up-to-date evidence, and clearly set out in the Government Actuary’s report and John Cridland’s report, that life expectancy is going up. Healthy life expectancy at the age of 65 is also going up. The Government have to face up to this long-term challenge and not pretend that it does not exist. We should celebrate increased life expectancy, but it has consequences for fiscal sustainability that cannot be ignored. The Cridland review is a serious piece of work with a clear recommendation on the pension age. In contrast with the Labour party, we will act responsibly and accept that recommendation.