Clause 12

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 1:45 pm, 24th January 2008

We move on to another important clause, which covers the review of the qualifying earnings band, which we have just agreed should be in the Bill by agreeing to clause 11. Of course, the two figures—£5,035 for the lower limit and £33,540 for the upper limit—will not maintain their value due to the ravages of inflation, so it is quite right that they should be increased over time. Clause 12, however, gives the Secretary of State almost complete carte-blanche to decide how the two bands will be increased, so we seek greater clarity on how the uprating will be undertaken. There is a precedent because the Employment Relations Act 2004 sets down a formula through which statutory redundancy pay is uprated. I look forward to hearing the Minister’s intentions for reviewing the qualifying earnings band in the years to come.