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Huge gaps in life expectancy revealed across UK

Female life expectancy (left) and male life expectancy (right) at age 65 in 2010-2012.
Female life expectancy (left) and male life expectancy (right) at age 65 in 2010-2012. Credit: ONS

Life expectancy remains much higher in areas of southern England than parts of the north and Scotland, new figures show.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data indicates that life expectancy at birth for men in East Dorset is 82.9 years, while men in Glasgow are expected to live on average ten years less, to 72.6 years.

However, the gap between areas with the lowest life expectancy and those with the highest reduced between 2000-02 and 2010-12, the ONS said.

Read: Pensioners could be given 'death date'

Pensioners could be given death date estimate

Steve Webb said insurers could use a number of factors to make the estimates.
Steve Webb said insurers could use a number of factors to make the estimates. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Pensioners could be given an estimate of when they might die to help them manage their finances, according to ministers.

As part of Government guidance intended to help pensioners plan how much to spend and save, pensions minister Steve Webb said insurance companies could look at factors such as smoking, eating habits and socio-economic background when determining approximate life expectancy.

The guidance, which could be rolled out in April next year, may form part of a major shake-up of the pensions system.

The reforms also include measures to allow the withdrawal of money directly from a pension savings pot, without leaving them tied up in annuities.

Read: Pension reforms 'could leave older people at risk'

Cable: 'We need to address zero-hours contracts'

Business Secretary Vince Cable has responded to today's wages and unemployment figures by saying: "Throughout the economic crisis, and now in the recovery, our labour market has shown itself to be resilient and flexible".

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable wants to address zero hour contracts. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

"People are feeling the benefits of recovery. We now need to focus on increasing job security and confidence.

"This is why I am addressing issues such as zero-hours contracts and restoring the real value of the national minimum wage.

Read: Wage rises beat inflation for first time in six years

"Together with the tax and benefits changes we have made, this will mean more money in people's pockets at the end of each month."

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Labour: Workers 'worse off and feel no recovery'

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, has responded to wages rising above the rate of inflation this morning’s by saying:

“At long last earnings are finally rising faster than CPI inflation when bonuses are included, but after four years when prices have risen faster than wages there is a huge amount of lost ground to catch up."

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

"Working people are now over £1600 a year worse off than when David Cameron came to office, most people are not feeling any recovery and the link between the wealth of the nation and family finances remains broken".

Read more: Unemployment rate drops to 6.9%

Esther McVey: 'More women in work, wages going up'

Minister for Employment Esther McVey has praised the news of average earnings rising above the rate of inflation for the first time in six years.

She said: "More young people are in work, more women are in work, wages are going up, and more and more businesses are hiring - and it's a credit to them that Britain is working again."

Esther McVey

Unemployment falls to 2.24 million people

Unemployment fell by 77,000 between December and February to 2.24 million, official figures showed today.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month also fell by 30,400 to 1.14 million, said the Office for National Statistics.

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