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Pension Transition Arrangements

Volume 633: debated on Monday 18 December 2017

13. What recent representations he has received on pension transition arrangements for women born in the 1950s. (902990)

I thank the Minister for that non-answer. Figures I received from the House of Commons Library show that tax giveaways on things such as inheritance tax and corporation tax will cost the Treasury over £60 billion by 2025. Should a caring Minister and Secretary of State not argue that, instead of giving money to the rich, they could use it for transitional arrangements and ending austerity?

I refer the hon. Gentleman to two particular points. The first is that we have differing views on taxation. The Government believe that cuts to corporation tax assist job creation—the jobs we need to pay for the public services we have. Secondly, I refer him to the fact that, under the letter of 22 June from Jeane Freeman, my opposite number, the Scottish Government have powers in terms of working-age people and to take action on the specific points that he keeps raising, but that the Scottish Government fail to do anything about.

As the Minister will be aware, it was clear in last week’s debate that a number of colleagues behind him on the Government Benches supported the call from a lot of colleagues on the Opposition side of the House for the Government to look at transitional arrangements for WASPI women. I therefore ask the Minister, as I did last week, why not call a binding vote so that the House can advise him to do the right thing for WASPI women?

In days gone by, the Liberal Democrats were a party of fiscal discipline. In 2011, when this matter last came before the House for debate, the hon. Gentleman and I accepted the need to take the decisions that were made, and he joined me in the Lobby to vote for them. It is a shame that he has forgotten those views now.