Liberal Democrat Euro MP, Liz Lynne, a long-time campaigner against age discrimination, has welcomed a call by the Equality Commission to abolish compulsory retirement ages.

The commission has called for "fundamental changes" to employment policies to open up opportunities for older people to work and tackle the challenge of an ageing workforce.

The Commission is pointing to research which shows that extending the average working lives by 18 months would inject £15 billion into the British economy.

Ms Lynne said: "There is now a growing consensus that it is unfair and wrong to throw people on the scrap heap at 60 or 65.

"We must end the sudden cliff edge of retirement that forces people to stop working at a certain age, whether they want to or not while, of course, maintaining an age at which people can receive a pension.

"I am glad the Equality Commission has joined in this debate. As research findings now show, forcing people to retire when they are fit to continue is not only unfair, it is also bad for our economy.

"We simply cannot afford to go on losing people from the workforce who wish to go on working and paying taxes for some years, maybe just part time. The loss of expertise and experience is huge.

"This is the right move for the UK economy, for UK business and for the rights of older people. We now need the Government to implement it."