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Clause 32 — Commencement

Part of Concessionary Bus Travel (Amendment) – in the House of Commons at 9:52 pm on 18th October 2011.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons) 9:52 pm, 18th October 2011

Pensions are one of the great challenges of our age, so it is pleasing that we have been able to adopt a cross-party approach. It was begun by the previous Government, who set up the Turner review, and has been taken forward by this Government in, by and large, a sensible way—although there are areas of great concern.

Auto-enrolment is a positive development that, judging by speeches from across the House, is supported widely by Members on both sides. It will provide protection for people in their old age, and is a good thing. However, it is unfortunate that the Bill, as currently constructed, will hit young people and agency workers by putting in place a waiting period that means that they will not get all the entitlements that they should do early in their pension-building life. It is even more unfortunate that women aged 56 to 58 will be significantly penalised in a way that fails any test of fairness that the House, or anybody outside it, might apply.