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October pensions supplement: Neglected costs

What is the future of the state pension?

By Paul Johnson  

The current government has delivered or is planning radical changes to the delivery of education, health and, through its planned “universal credit,” working-age social security. On pensions, that other great pillar of the welfare state, it has shown less short term radicalism but perhaps just as much appetite for long term change.

That short-term conservatism is in fact one reason why the scale of fiscal austerity faced by most elements of public spending has been quite so severe. The section of the population that is aged 65 and over is currently growing very fast. There will be two million more…

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