Clydebank’s political leaders have hit out at suggestions the pension age could be raised above the life expectancy for local men.

A report from a think-tank headed by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the state pension age should rise to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035 to boost the economy.

It is already set to rise to 67 by 2028 and 68 within another decade.

But in West Dunbartonshire life expectancy is 74 for men and 77 for women.

Clydebank’s MSP, Gil Paterson, said the UK Government should heed warnings that the proportion of elderly people living in severe poverty was five times what it was in 1986.

He said: “The Tory Government’s approach to the UK’s older citizens and state pension policy has been cruel and callous. The effect of increasing the age when you receive your state pension is felt much more in less well-off areas where life expectancy is lower than in affluent areas; it’s a double whammy for places like Clydebank.

“We’ve already seen the dreadful treatment of WASPI women who have been denied the right to their state pension and the stripping away of free TV licences for the over 75s. This government’s attitude towards its older people is shameful. The report from Oxford University found that UK pensioners suffer the worst poverty rates in Western Europe.

“Instead of ramping up Tory austerity, the new prime minister needs to take action to sort out the dire levels of pensioner poverty in the UK.

Fellow SNP MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, told the Post: “Having scrapped free TV licences for the over-75s, scaled back entitlement to pension credit and robbed the WASPI women of their state pensions it’s no surprise to see reports that the UK’s elderly are suffering from severe poverty more than any other country in Western Europe.

“But it seems the Tories aren’t just content with the UK having the worst state pension in the developed world – they now want to force our pensioners to work till they drop by raising the pension age to 75.

“An age that, due to health and wealth inequalities, many people in our communities will sadly never reach.

“These proposals would have dire consequences for disadvantaged communities across the country, resulting in many older people in areas such as West Dunbartonshire never getting the chance to retire.

“It’s clearer than ever that Westminster can’t be trusted to deliver for Scotland’s pensioners.”