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Clause 1 — Equalisation of and increase in pensionable age for men and women

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 18th October 2011.

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Photo of Anne Begg Anne Begg Chair, Work and Pensions Committee 6:30 pm, 18th October 2011

I may be Chair of the Select Committee, but I am afraid that I have no direct say in what should be in a Labour or any other manifesto. However, common sense tells us that whoever is in power after the next election—the Liberal Democrats might have a majority then, and might want to reverse the arrangement—voting against the amendment tonight will remove any chance of our ever finding a solution for this group of women. Events will have moved on, the timetable will have been set, and the pension age will have already changed by the time of the next election. That is what I mean about the lack of time in which to plan.

I hope that Members will accept that it is wrong that this anomaly has been created. I hope that those who have listened to the women in their constituencies will do the right thing tonight, and will vote for the Opposition amendment. That is what I shall be doing.