Single state pension funded by raising retirement age forms part of plans David Cameron and Nick Clegg to present next week
A flat-rate pension of £140 funded by increases in the state retirement age will be one of the coalition’s chief proposals for the second half of this parliament, due to be released by David Cameron and Nick Clegg on Monday afternoon.
The document, which has been worked on for months, is due to be presented to Cabinet on Monday morning.
There will also be an emphasis on improving school standards and cutting childcare costs by changing rules including those governing staff-children ratios.
The promise of a single state pension of about £140 a week is designed to appeal to low- and middle-income earners. It will come into force after the 2015 election.
The document is an update of the policy tasks still facing the coalition since the publication of its first coalition document in 2010.
There are concerns that the paper will be seen as a self-congratulatory piece of propaganda at a time when most voters are worried about declining living standards and job security. There will also be a focus on the extent to which the two parties have been forced to defer issues until after 2015 due to policy disagreements.
The document was delayed until after the autumn statement in October to allow the bad economic news to be digested.
Cameron said: “Nick Clegg and I work well together, and actually there are huge challenges facing this country.
“We have got to pay down the deficit, rebalance the economy and we have got to improve standards in our schools. We don’t spend our time in private bickering with each other; we work on the major problems facing our country.”
The prime minister also gave a clear hint that he will offering the country a referendum on Europe, and appeared to brush aside suggestions that Britain could develop a looser associate relationship with the EU.
He said: “We want to be round the table writing the rules of that market, which is why I don’t think it’s right to aim for a status like Norway or Switzerland where basically you have to obey all the rules of the single market but you don’t get to say what they are.”