The solution to increasing inability to work in the UK cannot be to raise the retirement age, which can only make everything worse

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As a Guardian headline says this morning:

The logic is that:

By age 70, only 50% of adults in England and Wales are now disability-free and able to work. A smaller working population and a large economically inactive population reduces the tax base to pay for pensions – and creates huge labour shortages, which creates its own problems.

So, the answer is to force those not disability free to work longer.

The logic implicit in this is staggeringly wrong. That logic is that because so many are disabled in some way those not suffering from disability must work for longer, ignoring the fact that this will inevitably increase (probably quite rapidly) the number suffering disability in that population that will now be forced to work, making the scale of the disability issue and so the demand on society significantly larger, not smaller.

The issue to be addressed is not the retirement age; it is why so many people have a disability and cannot work, meaning that they are being forced to live in poverty, making little economic contribution to society as a result.

But, since when did we look at issues rather than symptoms from which inappropriate conclusions could be drawn? That would never do.


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