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‘Labour will bury head in sand over means-testing’

Conservative shadow work and pensions secretary Chris Grayling expects the Government to bury its head in the sand over the impact of means-testing on personal accounts.

Speaking to Money Marketing at the Conservative conference this week, Grayling says his party had put forward ideas for dealing with means-testing but until the Government unveils its review in December, the Conservatives cannot lay down detailed proposals.

Grayling says: “All the indications are that the Government is going to put its head in the sand over the issue and not do anything but I hope it will at least publish a document that we can work with. I am far from convinced that the Government is on the way to delivering personal accounts in a way that will work by 2012.”

Grayling argues that the Conservatives could not rewrite the Pensions Bill because it would be defeated by a Labour majority in the House of Commons but he said that if his party got into power before 2012 it may need to make significant changes to the delivery of personal accounts although he insisted that the auto-enrolment and employer contribution elements are “sacrosanct”.

When pressed on Conservative solutions to the means-testing issue, Grayling says: “In a sense we don’t need to come up with a favoured approach until we get closer to the election. We can wait until we get the analysis.”

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