The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has defended older people's rights to remain in work beyond the age of 65 following renewed calls to bring back forced retirement.In a workplace debate at the Telegraph, venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft slammed the government's decision to remove the default retirement age of 65 last year at a time when youth unemployment was continuing to soar.Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that around one in five under-25s in the UK are currently out of work, the equivalent of a million people, and Mr Beecroft insists something needs to be done to tackle the crisis."In the current point of the economic cycle, allowing 300,000 more people who get to 65 to carry on working is effectively taking 300,000 jobs away from younger people," he said. "There is a balance there but, in my mind, with the currency of the economy, I'd rather those jobs went to young people."However, Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, has dismissed suggestions that the move would even help the young get into work.Mr Barber claimed that the decision to scrap the retirement age was needed to prevent discrimination against older workers at a time when people are having to work longer before being able to draw the state pension."You've got to make sure older workers have got a decent chance of being able to work in a way they don't face discrimination," he said.Mr Beecroft's controversial suggestions come at a time when the number of adults working beyond the state retirement age is continuing to rise.A report from the Office for National Statistics showed that there are now 1.4 million people over 65 in work even though they are eligible for a state pension, compared to 753,000 two decades ago.
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