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Single-tier Pension

Volume 575: debated on Wednesday 5 February 2014

3. What discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on increased national insurance costs for public bodies in Scotland resulting from the introduction of the single-tier pension. (902340)

Ministers in the UK Government and Scottish Government are in regular dialogue on issues relating to funding public bodies in Scotland. This Government believe that pension reform is essential because people are living longer and we all need to save for retirement.

Scottish councils are struggling to protect local services, because the Scottish National party Government are not fully funding the council tax freeze. Will the Minister, unlike the SNP, stand up for Scottish councils and make representations to relevant ministries to protect Scottish councils from this budgetary time bomb?

I note what the hon. Lady says. I am due to meet the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and will ensure that her comments are on the agenda for that meeting.

It would be useful if the Minister, in his discussions with COSLA, pushed for a statutory override that would help companies in Scotland to manage the move to single-tier pensions, because that will have an effect when they are not able to opt out of the state earnings-related pension scheme.

The hon. Lady is the Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee and we take her comments very seriously. I will ensure that they are also part of the discussions with COSLA.