16 January 2007
Pensions’ system in desperate need of reform
Speaking prior to the second reading of the Government’s Pensions Bill, Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP John Barrett said:
“It is clear to everyone that our Pensions’ system is in desperate need of reform. However, the Government’s proposals seem merely to add further complexity into an already ludicrously complex system.
“This Bill will do nothing to help today’s pensioners in my constituency who are struggling to make ends meet. They may end up waiting until 2015 before the earnings link is restored.
"With the withering of the state pension and the spread of means-testing, people are no longer clear if it is worth their while saving or not. And with the growth in personal debt and the struggle to get on the housing ladder, pension saving inevitably takes on a low priority.
“The Government must join the growing consensus that the only long term solution is a universal state pension, which is fairer to women, uprated in line with earnings and set at a level which encourages saving by putting an end to means-testing.”