Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hard Work Is Paying off, Says Osborne ; but Pension Age Is Set to Rise to 69

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hard Work Is Paying off, Says Osborne ; but Pension Age Is Set to Rise to 69

Article excerpt

CHANCELLOR George Osborne insisted his 'economic plan is working' as he revealed an Autumn Statement that contained mixed news for households and businesses. The Tatton MP outlined plans to extend the retirement age for millions, he warned that the 'job is not yet done'.

He confirmed people in their 40s now will not get the state pension until they are 68 and those in their 30s will have to wait until they are 69.

Unions said that meant young people face working 'until they drop' but Mr Osborne claimed the move would save future taxpayers around Pounds 500m, as he also confirmed the state pension will rise by Pounds 2.95 a week from April.

But hard-pressed motorists were given an early Christmas present with news next year's planned 2p a litre fuel tax rise will definitely be scrapped. Mr Osborne warned of 'more difficult decisions' ahead and acknowledged the effects of the economic crash on family budgets were still being felt.

But he pledged: "The hard work of the British people is paying off and we will not squander their efforts."

He revealed that the recession had been even deeper than feared - with economic output down by the equivalent of Pounds 3,000 per household.

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls accused Mr Osborne of being in 'complete denial'. He said living standards for families were falling 'year on year on year'.

'We leave young There was a huge focus on young job-seekers in the Chancellor's speech, as he declared he was scrapping employers' national insurance contributions for the under 21s.

The Treasury said that would see NIC bills for 174,000 under-21s wiped out from April 2015.

Mr Osborne said: "We're not going to leave young people behind as the economy grows.

We are going to have a responsible recovery for all."

But he also announced job-seekers aged 18 to 21 without basic maths or English will be required to undertake training in these skills or lose benefits. …

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