Results 1–20 of 1028 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Guy Opperman

Prison Reform and Safety: Financial Inclusion (7 Dec 2017)

Guy Opperman: It is a great pleasure to speak on behalf of the Government on the key issue of financial inclusion and the single financial guidance body, which we hope to bring before the House in the new year. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Jeremy Quin) for calling the debate and for the contribution he made as a step-in member of the Financial Inclusion Commission, following in the...

Prison Reform and Safety: Financial Inclusion (7 Dec 2017)

Guy Opperman: It is interesting that my hon. Friend raises that point, because it was specifically addressed by their lordships in some detail. He will be aware that the new financial guidance body will simplify the existing public financial guidance landscape, making it easier for all people to access information and guidance. Let me briefly address the statutory objectives and functions, because I think...

Prison Reform and Safety: Financial Inclusion (7 Dec 2017)

Guy Opperman: It is a fair to say that the work of the Financial Inclusion Commission—I have met many of its members—needs to be recognised. In relation to credit unions, it is right that we pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend has done. Does he agree that we should laud the fact that credit unions now have 1.29 million members, that their members and loans have doubled since 2006, and...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I will answer two of the hon. Gentleman’s points. First, the Government do not believe that there has been maladministration by the Department for Work and Pensions in relation to the legal claim by Bindmans, and that includes in the 13 years when the Labour party was in power. Secondly, with regard to his assertions about the Scottish Government, the situation is as I said when I cited...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: Since world war two, we have seen a dramatic change in life expectancy. We are living longer, staying healthier, fighting diseases that previously would have killed us and leading a more active lifestyle, regardless of age. Faced with demographic pressures and increased life expectancy and costs, successive Governments have acted. We must be realistic about the demographic and fiscal...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention. I recognise that he has more than 25 years’ experience of working in the pensions industry through his previous journalistic work. The reality is that if the Pensions Acts 1995 and 2011 were to be revoked, it would cost well in excess of £70 billion. If we were to follow the path set out in the Labour party manifesto, which...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: Having visited his local jobcentre, my hon. Friend will be aware that a great deal of assistance is provided by the job coaches. However, help comes not just from job coaches and jobcentres but from local job clubs, which I am sure exist in his constituency, as they do in mine; from individual flexible working arrangements; and from jobs fairs, which a number of colleagues have mentioned. I...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I will give way in a moment, but first let me address the issue in relation to Scotland. I was surprised that the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford) refused 10 times to give way. If I were him, I would say that he was frit, but I will not go down that route. In addition to the substantial support that the UK Government are providing, which is worth £50 billion...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I fully understand, and I will move on, but I will make one single point in reply to the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber. I specifically read the letter of 22 June from Jeane Freeman, quoting what she said. When the right hon. Gentleman criticises me, he should be aware and conscious that he is criticising someone from his own party.

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: The reality of the situation, given the motion facing us today, is that one has to ask what the Scottish Government are doing. My hon. Friend is entirely right. The issue dates back to 1995, when the Government legislated after two years of debate and consultation to equalise the state pension age in order to eliminate gender inequalities in state pensions. There had been welcome increases in...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I will give way for the last time. I am conscious that 20 Members wish to speak.

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: The hon. Gentleman will be aware that, without a shadow of a doubt, life expectancy has increased in all parts of the country and in all socioeconomic groups over the past 30 years. I refer him to the Cridland report, which accepts the situation that has existed for the past 30 years, and the change that has been made. Developments in policy have included the Pensions Act 1995, as well as the...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I will not give way any more, because I am conscious that 20 Members wish to speak. Automatic enrolment was introduced in 2012 on a cross-party basis after a considerable amount of time. The important point is that the overall participation in workplace pensions of eligible female employees in 2012 was 58% but, following the introduction of automatic enrolment, the figure increased to 80% in...

State Pension Age: Women (29 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I am not going to give way again—I am so sorry. While increasing longevity is something to be celebrated, we must also be realistic about the demographic and fiscal challenges it creates for us as a society. Since the early 2000s, it has been widely recognised that we face big questions as a society about how we ensure economic security for people in retirement, while maintaining...

State Pension Age (21 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hollobone. I congratulate the hon. Member for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill (Hugh Gaffney) on securing today’s debate on the state pension age and welcome him to what I think is his first debate here. Since world war 2, we have seen dramatic changes in life expectancy. We are living longer and staying healthier for longer, and...

State Pension Age (21 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: The reality is that life expectancy has increased repeatedly across the country—[Interruption.] It most definitely has increased across the country in all socioeconomic groups over the past 30 years, and for all constituent countries of the UK. Mr Cridland, who was independent, did extensive work on that point, concluding that a universal state pension age remained the best system, and...

State Pension Age (21 Nov 2017)

Guy Opperman: I will make two points about that. The first is that anybody who proposes a situation involving framing new legislation that lacks equality between men and women will have to deal with the Equality Act 2010, because any new transitional provision runs the risk of creating a new inequality between men and women and being subject to challenge. Further to the proposal made by the hon. Member for...


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