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The hon. Gentleman tempts me into an area into which I will not follow him. That is an issue for another day, although my position is probably not too dissimilar from his.
Given the financial circumstances and the constraints that the Government face, the deal proposed today is a good one. The Government’s amendments substantially mitigate the worst problems, and we should bear it in mind that £1 billion is a huge amount of money.
I hope the Minister can now concentrate on introducing a flat-rate pension for those whose retirement age is increased. That would make a massive difference to the amount that people get from their basic state pension when they retire, and it will benefit women in particular. Will he confirm that he still plans to introduce a flat-rate pension for 2016, so that women who are affected by the state pension age increase that we are discussing will be the first, or among the first, beneficiaries? In that way, although they retire later, they will do so on a significantly enhanced state pension, which would mitigate some of the financial implications of the Bill.
I commend the Minister and his colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions for their efforts, and for their achievement of parting £1 billion from the Treasury to make the changes better, so that the effects are mitigated for those who are hardest hit. I hope that he continues to work to improve retirement income for both men and women.