LABOUR'S next MP candidate for Carlisle has condemned suggestions that the state pension age should be hiked to 75.

The Centre for Social Justice - a think-tank headed by Conservative MP Iain Duncan-Smith - says the UK isn't responding to the potential of an ageing workforce and proposes increases the pension age over the next 16 years.

Ruth Alcroft, who will stand as Labour's candidate for Carlisle in the next General Election, has condemned the controversial proposal.

She said: "The state pension is intended to ensure that someone who has worked their whole life is supported in their old age.

“An increase in the state pension age might not affect people like Iain Duncan-Smith, but for people in Carlisle it would have a serious impact.

“There is a north-south divide with life expectancy, and for Carlisle that means the life expectancy of a man is 78, and a woman is 80."

She added: "This move would mean people were working right up until the end of their life. And I don’t think that’s fair at all."