Select Committee on Work and Pensions Fourth Report


FORMAL MINUTES

Thursday 13 July 2006

Members present:

Mr Terry Rooney, in the Chair


Miss Anne Begg
Harry Cohen
Mr Philip Dunne
Michael Jabez Foster
Mrs Joan Humble
Greg Mulholland
John Penrose



1.  Pension Reform: Report text

The Committee considered this matter.

2.  Pension Reform: Formal consideration

Draft Report (Pension Reform), proposed by the Chairman, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the Chairman's draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 417 read and agreed to.

Paragraph 418 read, as follows:

"418. We agree with the point made by the Rt Hon Frank Field MP that informed discussion, rather than "merely shuffling our prejudices" is necessary for a debate on the future level and terms of public sector pensions. We recommend that the Government commission an independent review, which includes involvement from both the private and public sectors, about the future terms, benefits and financing of these schemes"

Amendment proposed, in line 3, after "public sector pensions" insert "However, in our view, long-standing members of such schemes, especially those with low incomes and overall pension entitlements, should not be adversely affected by any changes."—(Harry Cohen).

Question put, that the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.


Ayes, 3
  
Miss Anne Begg
Harry Cohen
Greg Mulholland
Noes, 4
  
Mr Philip Dunne
Michael Jabez Foster
Mrs Joan Humble
John Penrose



Paragraph 418 agreed to.

Paragraphs 419- 464 read and agreed to.

Summary (paragraphs 1-7) agreed to.

Summary (paragraph 8) read as follows:

"The Government's decision to re-link the Basic State Pension to earnings is also commendable. The White Paper does not guarantee the date when this will take place - it states that it will be 2012, or at the end of the next Parliament, subject to affordability. We questioned the Secretary of State hard on this point, as we think such equivocation is unhelpful and a firm commitment would be welcome."

Amendment proposed, at the end, to add the words "The additional delay beyond 2010-11 will defer the benefits of the reforms for current and future pensioners." - (Mr Philip Dunne)

Question put, that the Amendment be made.

The Committee divided.


Ayes, 4
  
Harry Cohen
Mr Philip Dunne
Greg Mulholland
John Penrose

Noes, 3
  
Miss Anne Begg
Michael Jabez Foster
Mrs Joan Humble



Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Summary (paragraphs 9-12) agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report, as amended, be the Fourth Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chairman do make the Report to the House.

Ordered That embargoed copies of the Report be made available, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 134.

Several papers were ordered to be appended to the Minutes of Evidence.

Ordered That the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee be reported to the House.

[Adjourned till Wednesday 19 July at 9.15am






 
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Prepared 22 July 2006