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Field urges bravery to speak out on pensions

Former welfare minister Frank Field has continued his onslaught against Government pension reforms by calling on the industry to be more vociferous in criticising the plans.

At the Merseyside Life & Pensions Society, Field said the apparent developing consensus around reforms was dangerous.

He brought up the Dangerous Dogs Bill as an example of a policy that commanded overwhelming support but was “one of the worst thought through pieces of legislation ever to become law”.

Speaking in the run-up to the Labour party conference in Manchester this week, Field said the first step of the reforms must be to lift everyone out of means-testing. He said until pension credit was scrapped, the Government could not claim it paid to save.

Field also said he believed that, whatever structure the NPSS took, it would create “another complicated tier of pension provision” and the Government would open itself up to huge liabilities. Field said: “Why won’t the pension industry speak out against the Government’s reforms? I have spoken to numerous companies whose business is selling pensions and without exception they all agree that the Government’s proposals are ludicrous.

“Which company chairman is going to be brave enough to tell the king he has no clothes or, at least, no clothes worth wearing?”


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