Topical Questions

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 2:30 pm, 20th October 2014

We have a new Secretary of State, and he, I, and other Ministers, continue to consider that issue. Notwithstanding how much sympathy—perhaps that is not the right word—but support we might have for the argument made, there is a real legal problem and difficulty with retrospection, and that also occupies our minds when deciding what to do.

Annotations

Andy Robertson-Fox
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 4:51 pm (Report this annotation)

May I ask that when she, together with the Principal Secretary of State for Defence and other Ministers, among whom one would anticipate would be The Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, meet to discuss this issue the anomaly of the frozen state retirement pension is not ignored.
The policy affects many British Armed Service Personnel and their families.
There is no legal problem as the policy is a domestic matter and can be abolished at the stroke of a pen and nor is there any difficulty with retrospection; it is not a part of the ICBP claim and, in any case, certainly not beyond the whit of government to incorporate a clause to that effect in unfreezing pensions and which debars such claims.

George Morley
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 7:39 pm (Report this annotation)

I have to support the recommendation made by Andy Robertson-Fox with respect to the 'Frozen Pension' policy which is also an anomaly for which one really has no excuse not to rectify especially considering the very valid points that he made. Pensioners see the National Insurance Fund in surplus but it seemingly gets spent elsewhere after being borrowed, when it's prime purpose was for their pensions and when an excessive amount is generously given in aid whilst they drift into poverty.
How would you feel in this situation ?

Jane Davies
Posted on 21 Oct 2014 8:27 pm (Report this annotation)

Whenever a politician says "we will continue to consider that issue" what they are really saying is "we will do nothing". How can this be allowed to have happened, that war widows who remarried between 1973 and 2005 have lost their pensions but the others outside those dates keep theirs? Are you all stupid? Remove this anomaly and backdate those who have lost money, or are you going to allow this injustice to go on for decades as in the case of the frozen state pensioners? How can you draw your pay cheques and still have no conscience about blatant injustice and discrimination? Cameron bangs on about "fairness" and yet this outrageous UNfairness goes on year in year out. Hypocrisy is it not?