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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 24th March 2014.

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Photo of Ann McKechin Ann McKechin Labour, Glasgow North 6:26 pm, 24th March 2014

I welcome the comments made by my hon. Friend Mr Campbell, who recommended a precautionary approach to the proposed changes to pensions. They are huge changes with many unanswered questions. At the weekend, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury was quoted in the papers as saying that intuitively he did not foresee undue harm to the public purse. Rather than his personal rose-tinted view, we need hard facts and well researched analysis to allow Parliament to make an informed decision about the proposals.

Many questions arise, in particular about the level and quality of the financial advice that will be available to people to enable them to make proper decisions. How will pensioners be protected from the scams that my hon. Friend mentioned? If people choose not to take the annuity route, they will require active management of their investment over a prolonged period, at a time when many of them will experience increasing incapacity. It is vital that we have full consultation on the changes, and that any legislation is considered in draft format by the Work and Pensions Committee before it is presented to the House.