Schedule 1

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 5th February 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 12:00 pm, 5th February 2008

I am more than happy to be probed. That is why I am here. The hon. Gentleman is right to probe me on this issue—I have no worry about that. I simply return to the argument that I made earlier: he is trying to tie the issue down before it is right to do so. To use his analogy, there will be pegs in the ground, but there is a question of timing. The hon. Gentleman is trying to put the pegs in now, which is far too early.

In 2010, when the scheme is launched, many things will have happened. Some of the pegs will be in the ground and the situation will be clearer. Scheme orders will be in place, for example, and PADA will have reached conclusions about the funding structure. Much more will be known, and by 2010 a lot more will be obvious, but the hon. Gentleman seeks to pre-empt all that work with his probing amendments by trying to insert specific numbers now, although it is right at this point to be flexible in the interest of ultimate success.

I think that as time moves on some of the certainty that the hon. Gentleman seeks will emerge, but that will happen at the appropriate time and in the appropriate circumstances, rather than artificially, now, before it is right.