The personal accounts White Paper, published last December, set out our proposals for increasing opportunities and incentives to save for retirement. We reached the end of the consultation period in March and shall publish our response shortly. Our proposals will place simplicity and independence at the heart of a system that, from 2012, will introduce a scheme of low-cost personal accounts for millions of people currently without access to good occupational schemes.
That is a very good point. Unfortunately, the truth is that only a minority of people currently have access to employer contributions to their pension, and through these reforms, we will now extend that to every employee, so that whenever an employee wants to save in their pension, it will be mandatory for their employer to match that, with tax relief from the state. That is a significant step forward.
Does the Minister agree that people would have greater confidence in saving for their own retirement if the Government had acted to reform public sector pensions, perhaps guided by an independent review? Will he join the consensus initiated by Lord Turner in another place on 14 May that the Government have so far failed to act on the issue? What steps will he take to answer that call?