I thank my right hon. Friend for her comments. She is absolutely right, and I will come on to talk about that in a moment. She talks about when the agreement was set up. The Minister admitted to me, in response to a written question asking what actuarial advice was taken, that
“no such advice was obtained”.
Can we consider that for a moment, Madam Deputy Speaker? This arrangement was put in place with no expert advice. It is little wonder that the initial prediction proved woefully inaccurate and the surplus has been substantially more than anticipated—and it shows.
The sheer amount of money that has been taken out by the Government since 1994 without returning a single penny is staggering. The Treasury has pocketed £4.4 billion since 1994.