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Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his role will be in developing Government policy on pensions. (71543)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out details of the new role he has asked me to undertake in his written answer on 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 985W, and a copy of my letter of appointment has been made available in the Library.

I will be taking the lead in overseeing the delivery of Government business and improving the effectiveness of Government policy across the whole range of policy areas, including delivering key pledges in our 2005 election manifesto. An important challenge will be to ensure a long-term infrastructure is put in place to entrench a new pensions savings culture, where future generations can take increasing personal responsibility for building their retirement savings. We believe the proposals in the Pensions White Paper do this, and I shall continue to play a full role in discussions as we seek a consensus on the way forward on pensions. The hon. Member will be aware that, until recently, I was responsible for ensuring proper regulation of the local government pension scheme. I intend to build on that experience in seeking agreement on sustainable, affordable and fair pensions for the future.