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State Pensions

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if she will publish all the representations received as part of her review of state pensions. [17360]

I refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood) on 17 November 1997, Official Report, columns 85–86.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when she plans to make a statement on the Government's strategy for the state pension from 1998– 99 onwards. [17362]

The pensions review, announced by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 17 July 1997, Official Report, columns 239–41, is looking at the central areas of insecurity for elderly people, including all aspects of the basic pension and its value. A key objective of the review is to ensure that pensioners should have an adequate income in retirement; that they should share fairly in rising national prosperity, and that public finances should be both sustainable and affordable.The first part of the review ended on 31 October and we are now carefully considering more than 1,800 responses we have received from pensioner providers, employers, employees, consumers, pensions experts and pensioners themselves. The Government intend to publish an initial framework for change in the first half of 1998. There will then be a period of further consultation before final, detailed proposals are developed.