Due to automatic enrolment, 10 million workers have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, including 17,000 in my hon. Friend’s Walsall North constituency. In addition, the Government’s commitment to the triple lock has meant that the full basic state pension is now worth about £1,600 a year more in cash terms than it was in 2010.
I thank the Minister for that answer, but 3,440 households in my constituency will lose their free TV licence as a result of the BBC’s recent decision. Can he assure my constituents that pensioners with increased costs will be at the forefront of the Department’s decision making during the comprehensive spending review?
Clearly, I cannot comment on the specifics of the comprehensive spending review—I suspect that will be for the new Prime Minister—but the reality of the situation is that the triple lock and the various reforms we have introduced have meant that pensioners have done considerably better. We spend £120 billion on pensioners, of which £99 billion is on the state pension. That is a record sum.
Pensioners who apply for disability living allowance after the age of 65 are not eligible for the higher mobility component and are therefore not able to access the motability scheme. The regulations are not new—they date to 1991—but our understanding of what it is to live a good life in retirement has changed in the intervening three decades. Will Ministers reconsider the regulations, so that pensioners continue to have the opportunity for full social participation?