Pensions

– in the House of Commons at 8:43 pm on 10th February 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 8:43 pm, 10th February 2020

I beg to move,

That the draft Guaranteed Minimum Pensions Increase Order 2020, which was laid before this House on 27 January, be approved.

The GMP increase order is an entirely technical matter that is attended to in this place every year. It is subject matter that is dealt with under every successive Government. The statutory instrument provides for defined-benefit or final-salary occupational pension schemes that are contracted out to increase members’ guaranteed minimum pensions that accrued between 6 April 1988 and 5 April 1997 at 1.7%, in line with the increase in the consumer prices index to September 2019. I commend this order to the House.

Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment) 8:44 pm, 10th February 2020

I thank the Minister for his comments.

On the uprating of the state pension in line with the triple lock, we are pleased that the Government have kept to this despite some voices on the Conservative Benches arguing, at an early stage, that the triple lock should be scrapped. This comes at a time when pensioner poverty is on the rise for the first time in five years, according to the recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report, “UK Poverty 2019/20”. The shadow pensions Minister, my hon. Friend—my good friend—Jack Dromey, who cannot be with us today, is correct to assert that the Government have failed to encourage take-up of pension credit, which is down from 70% in 2010 to 64% in 2016-17, and have introduced new rules on eligibility that put a young partner at potential risk of being sanctioned and could leave couples over £7,000 a year worse off.

The other point I would like to pick up on with the Minister and the Government is that they have failed to address the financial hardship faced by millions of women born in the 1950s due to the hurried and unfair changes in pensions policy. I do hope that the Minister and the Government rectify this to ensure that these millions of women get justice over the duration of this Parliament.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That the draft Guaranteed Minimum Pensions Increase Order 2020, which was laid before this House on 27 January, be approved.