The Young Greens have condemned government plans to raise the retirement age to 70 for today’s young people.

The announcement by George Osborne in the Autumn Statement to increase the retirement age to 70 by the 2060s was slammed by the youth branch of the Green Party as a ‘callous attack’ which demands today’s youth ‘work till they drop’.

Thom French, Non-Student Outreach Officer for the Young Greens, said:

With the raising of tuition fees, the effective abolition of the welfare state for 16-25 year olds, youth unemployment at nearly a million and huge cuts to EMA, the government’s raising of the retirement age has taken away even more of young people’s hopes for a decent future.

Instead of raising the retirement age, the Young Greens call for shorter working weeks, an end to zero hour contracts, greater freedom to take career sabbaticals, a living wage, more annual leave, investment in jobs for young people and stronger trade unions to ensure that people are protected at work.

Josiah Mortimer, also from the Young Greens National Committee, said:

This announcement is yet another callous attack on young people by an out-of-touch government. With the gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor in the UK standing at as much as a decade, this coalition is demanding working-class kids today to work till they drop.

Young GreensThom French added:

Last year, half a million people approaching retirement age were too ill to work, according to TUC research. Thousands of workers are struggling to reach full retirement age with workplaces that are stressful, dangerous and not supportive of a modern workforce. Raising the age of retirement age to 70 would mean many young workers would not be able to enjoy their retirement due to ill health, both mental and physical.

The Health and Safety Executive reported that 148 workers were killed at work last year. Workplaces are clearly not safe and if we are to work longer, they need to become fit for purpose. It is not acceptable to have 1.1million workers suffering from work-related illness and injuries. Increasing the age of retirement does not address what is only a growing problem in the workplace.

The Young Greens are the youth branch of the Green Party of England and Wales, and represent thousands of young people.

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