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Hutton new Work and Pensions Secretary

John Hutton has been confirmed as the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, taking over from David Blunkett who resigned this morning.
Hutton joined the Cabinet in May as Cabinet Office minister and was previously junior Health minister.
He is seen as a Blairite who will look to push forward the Prime Ministers third term reforms in incapacity benefit and pensions.
Hutton is the forth person to take on the role in little over a year, after Andrew Smith resigned in September 2004 and Alan Johnson was moved to the DTI in the post-election reshuffle.
Winterthur Life pensions strategy manager Mike Morrison says: “After so many changes we now desperate for some consistency. We need to get Turner out in the open and I hope this new blood will lead to genuine action on the reform of pensions.”
Hutton says: “The Prime Minister has made clear that my job is to press ahead with the government’s radical welfare reform agenda so that rights are properly matched with responsibilities. I am very much looking forward to that challenge.
“We will reform incapacity benefit so it continues to support those who genuinely cannot work but can better help and support those who are able to return to work. And we will address the challenge of creating a pension system that allows people to enjoy a secure retirement in a country where there will soon be more people over the age of 80 than under the age of five.”

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