Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:31 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:31 pm, 6th July 2010

I am not sure that that analysis was carried out under the previous Government. We are the first Government to have published analysis of the impact across the income distribution, and we have conducted specific analysis of the impact on child poverty. It is notable that the House of Commons analysis assumes that women will be the only people affected by changes in benefits that are targeted on families. It does not make any allowance for the way incomes may be shared within the household, and as a result it may well exaggerate the impact of Budget measures on women's incomes.

The Budget includes a number of measures to ensure fairness for pensioners. For example, it locks in an annual increase in the state pension in line with earnings, prices or a 2.5% increase, whichever is the highest-the so-called triple lock-to the benefit of 11 million pensioners. It also enables individuals to make more flexible use of their pension savings. The Government intend to end the existing rules that create an effective obligation to purchase an annuity by age 75 from April 2011. Clause 6 provides interim measures to raise the age at which a person is required to purchase an annuity, or otherwise secure a pension income, from 75 to 77. That is to protect those who might otherwise be forced to annuitise before the new rules that we are seeking to introduce come into place. We will consult interested parties on the detail of that change later this month.

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