Pensions row campaigner to visit resort
The man leading a national review into the state pension age is set to visit Blackpool '“ where residents have the lowest life expectancy rate in the country.
John Cridland is in charge of the shake-up which it is warned could see people have to work until their mid-70s in the future.
But in Blackpool life expectancy for men is 74.7 years, while for women it is 79.9 years – meaning fewer years to enjoy retirement.
One local campaigner warned today: “One of the big arguments for raising state pension age is ‘we are all living longer’.
“The ‘we are all’ is not true in places like Blackpool.”
Mr Cridland will visit Blackpool on Tuesday, on the invitation of his brother Ken Cridland, chairman of Blackpool Against the Cuts (BAC).
He will visit the Blackpool Centre for Unemployed and address a meeting organised by BAC.
Currently, the state pension age is set to be 67 for both men and women by 2018.
Former CBI boss John Cridland has been appointed to lead a review, the first of five regular five year assessments, which could mean people joining the workforce today will have to wait until their mid-70s before they retire.
The government has said the review will consider changes to life expectancy.
Ken Cridland said: “I am very pleased my brother John is coming to see and hear for himself what the special concerns over pension age are in Blackpool.
“His recommendations on state pensions after 2028 will go to Government and could affect people now in their early fifties and younger.
“It could be that people will have to wait for their pension until they are in their ‘70s.
“One of the big arguments for raising state pension age is ‘we are all living longer’.
“I pointed out to John that the ‘we are all’ is not true in places like Blackpool.
“Recent district by district NHS figures show men in Blackpool die on average 10.5 years sooner than their counterparts in Kensington and Chelsea.”
Some areas of Blackpool have even lower life expectancy rates – just 71.6 years in Bloomfield ward which is one of the town’s poorest areas, compared to 80.4 years in Highfield, a difference of almost nine years.
Ken added: “At the same time John needs to look carefully at healthy life expectancy rather than the simply the length of life.
“Once again, the situation in Blackpool is worse than the national picture on ill health.
“There is even increasing concern the life expectancy may start coming down.
“Current concerns about the rate of obesity among young children, the prevalence of poor diets, lack of exercise and increased stress must also surely raise doubts as to the health of future generations and the likelihood that they will live longer than today’s retirees.
“All these issues are affecting Blackpool more than many other places.”
John Cridland will be at the Unemployed Centre in Blackpool tomorrow afternoon, before attending the BAC meeting at the Ruskin Hotel, Albert Road, at 7.30pm.