Chancellor must not be allowed to break pensions consensus

December 5, 2005 5:57 PM

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, has today warned the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, against blocking pensions reform away from the means-tested model following the publication of the Turner Report.

David said that he would be questioning the Chancellor on the issue of pension reform.

Commenting he said:

"The Turner Report represents an unmissable opportunity to secure much-needed reform of Britain's complex and inadequate pensions system. Lord Turner has reflected a broad national consensus by proposing a simpler and improved state pension, linked to earnings, rather than the current reliance on means-testing and complexity.

"Gordon Brown's obsession with means-testing simply isn't working. In Cambridge over 1000 pensioners are missing out on Pension Credits that they are entitled to.

"The Prime Minister must not allow one man, Gordon Brown, to veto pensions reform. It is simply unthinkable that we could end up with 75% of pensioners on means-tested benefits, as Gordon Brown seems to think acceptable. The current system is just too complicated and is failing pensioners in Cambridge.

"I will ask the Chancellor whether he will stand in the way on these essential reforms, in the interests of preserving the bewilderingly complex means-testing system he created - or whether he will stand up for a simpler and fairer pensions deal for all."

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