RECENT plans being considered by the UK Government to incrementally raise the state pension age to 75 by the year 2035 must be treated with extreme vigilance and viewed with genuine disquiet.(“Warnings on 'despicable' plans to raise state pension age to 75” , The Herald, August 19). The proposals forwarded by the implausibly named Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) think-tank profess that potential improvements in older people's health and well being provide their rationale for increasing the pension age to hitherto unimaginable heights. This is, of course, merely a red herring.

Their devious motives, as is becoming the dispiriting norm with all Tory-controlled groups, are not designed to aid those who have worked all their lives and made sterling contributions to British society, but lie in saving money, an estimated £182 billion, from the public purse.

Tory party philosophy has now been commandeered by the libertarian far right, in this case represented by the arch Brexiter, Iain Duncan Smith.

Mr Duncan Smith acts on behalf of a party creed that espouses economic and social laissez-faire policies at the literal expense of, it would appear, protection for those in the UK from the cradle to the grave. As co-founder of the CSJ and architect of the much-derided Universal Credit system, Mr Duncan-Smith regards himself as the Godfather of a Conservative Government that appears eager to gradually dismantle the foundations of our welfare state and wishes to see state intervention being limited to 19th century standards.

As Labour MP Paul Sweeney noted, life expectancy in the UK is now in decline at the same time as the CSJ proposes to increase the pension age. Governments introducing dubious policy reforms to save money from the public purse is nothing new. However, the current ideology that controls Westminster is more sinister and lacking in compassion than any in the last 150 years. The CSJ proposals must not be considered in isolation. Draconian changes to people's rights and benefits will fast become the norm in the immediate post-Brexit future. This is only the beginning.

Owen Kelly, Stirling.

WE have had our first glimpse of what is likely to come with the establishment of the Boris Johnson brand of government following the achievement of a No Deal Brexit.

Not content with an increase in pension age to 67 by 2028 the think-tank Centre for Social Justice proposes upping the age to 70 by then going up to 75 by 2035.

What next? Lowering the school leaving age to 10 in order to fill the gap in the employment market created by the loss of lesser skilled workers from the EU? Perhaps further down line the regime could reintroduce slavery for the lower orders.

Gordon Evans, Rutherglen

I THINK following the announcement of the possibility of a further hike in State Pension Age (SPA) that it is important for our young people to understand the great pension robbery that is already under way. I, like 3.8 million other 1950s-born women, had no notification of the initial three-year rise in my state pension age (SPA) following 1997 legislation, nor was I notified of the 2011 legislation which resulted in another two and a half years delay in SPA. I was 65 in March 2019 and will finally reach SPA in September 2019. This is a five-and-a-half-year delay with a resulting loss of £45K. Multiply £45k by 3.8 million women affected and you will see why I refer to a robbery. The lack of notice also meant 1950s women had not time to make alternative retirement provision.

This robbery was a calculated act by politicians of the time. They perceived that this cohort of women would not have the means to fight back. In my work with Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), I do meet women who are not computer literate and donit know how to make their voice heard. Waspi supports these women. Many of these women have no option but to continue to work, many when dealing with their own ill health or that of their partner. I regularly hear of women, unable to continue to work, who need to sell their home to have money to live.

Currently, we await the outcome of the Judicial Review heard in June 2019. This action was brought by our sister group BacktoSixty. There is another group, FeistyWomen. We all have slightly different angles on the outcome we seek but come together to voice the opinion of the unfairness and injustice of this legislation. We have no issue at all with the equalisation of SPA but with the methodology of implementation.

There are many myths circulated by government on this issue. We hear, "no woman has had more than an 18-month delay"; nonsense. In paragraph one I have described my five-and-a-half-year delay. Many women have a longer delay. This situation is a scandal and a national disgrace bigger than Windrush.

Sandra Gibson, Paisley.