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A woman’s work is never done? The hidden cost of raising the retirement age

A woman’s work is never done? The hidden cost of raising the retirement age

A new study has found that pushing back the age at which women can claim the state pension has ‘not saved the taxpayer money’ because those women who carry on working into their sixties ‘compensate by reducing the care they provide for their parents’; King’s College London academics found that in this age-bracket, ‘[f]or every woman working 30 hours a week ... it costs £5,600 to make up for the care she would otherwise have provided for older relatives’, highlighting ‘a serious downside to pension reforms that swept away women’s retirement age of 60 and pushed back the point at which women can claim the state pension by six years or more’ (‘Why making women retire later comes with hidden cost’, Daily Mail, April 13, 2021).


The study ‘did not account for the income for the nation generated by women working in their sixties who would have been paying much less in income tax had they retired’, but ‘[r]esearchers said reform could include more free care for old people whose family carers have jobs, or subsidies for employers to allow flexible hours for older workers who have caring responsibilities.’ Presumably, the ‘free care’ and ‘subsidies’ would be paid for from the taxes of the women who are having to work longer.


‘Getting women into the workforce’ has been official policy in recent years, but scant attention has been paid to the effect this has had on women, and on their children as, increasingly, they have had to place them in formal childcare for long hourse while they work. Feminists argued that any extra costs from the state providing what used to be really free would be more than made up from the taxes that women would pay – in other words, women could pay other women to provide this ‘free’ childcare.


But the invisible cost to women is now visible in the declining birth rate, and it has been clear for many years that in the mania for getting more taxes, governments have been sacrificing the taxpayers of the future. Now women are paying a double price by working longer to make up for the taxpayers that will never be born, as their own parents are placed in ‘elder care’. Needless to say, if they themselves are childless, they will need even more help from the state.


Of course, the feminist answer to women’s inequality is to sacrifice their children – sometimes literally – so they can go out to work. Perhaps they will now encourage women to sacrifice their parents as well by supporting ‘the right to die’, thus fulfilling the wildest dreams of the population control movement, who many years ago realised that working women have fewer children, and can now anticipate the population being curbed at both ends.


Feminists will no doubt be just as outraged at the assumption that women are expected to care for their parents, as they are by the assumption that they should care for their own children, but it seems that daughters do most of the care: according to the study: “‘Parents who receive less help from their daughter do not receive more help from other family members or formal services as a counterbalance. Therefore, support for older parents shrinks when their daughters work longer due to postponed state pension age.”’


Presumably, people who only have sons will be more reliant on the state (aka the taxpayer) than those who have daughters, but this will come as no surprise to most ordinary people, along with the saying that ‘a woman’s work is never done’. It is certainly true that there is no retirement age for being a daughter, a sister, or a mother, but what a sad world it would be if caring for family members was seen as ‘work’ for which women must be paid. Fortunately for society as a whole, some of us still consider caring a privilege rather than a burden, despite the fact that the governing elites now seem to want us to pay the price for the ‘hidden cost’ of their hidden population policy.