PLSA IC 18: Politicians must not be seen ‘tinkering’ with pensions - Ian Blackford MP

Written by Theo Andrew

Politicians must not be seen “tinkering” with the pensions system and instead look at matters with a more “holistic” approach, according to MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber Ian Blackford.

Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's Investment Conference today, 9 March 2018, Blackford stated there has been too much change at the top level, and pointed the finger at former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in particular.

In January, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Esther McVey as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, replacing David Gauke, after just six months in the role. The government has been criticised for its “revolving door” approach to ministers in the Department for Work and Pensions.

Blackford said: “I sat across from four pensions ministers and only one had any experience in the pensions industry. We have to be careful we are not seen as tinkering … if we do so we can affect saving. I would point the finger at George Osborne in particular.

Focusing on the Lifetime ISA, Blackford stated that we haven’t been able to concentrate the minds of younger people on the importance of investing in pensions.

“What we have done is encouraged people to focus on other views that are not so efficient on a taxation basis and we are not allowing young people to be thinking about the benefits that they should be for pensions in the longer term”, Blackford said.

“We need to take the debate of pensions out of the commons chamber and I think what we should have is a standing commission on pensions, which can look at matters on a holistic basis, both in terms of private pensions and state pension provision as well.”

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