View more on these topics

LibDems rule out cross-party challenge to means-test

The LibDems claim that means-testing could undermine pension personal accounts but say they are unlikely to align with the Tories on the issue.

Speaking to Money Marketing at the LibDem conference in Brighton last week, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Danny Alexander said he feels as strongly as his predecessor David Laws that means-testing is the biggest danger to the proposed pension reforms.

He said there are two main dangers – the risk of mass misselling if many of the target market are pushed into a scheme that in effect just saves the Government money on benefits and the danger of a mass opt-out of individuals crippling the scheme.

But Alexander said he would find it hard to align the party with the Tories, who have also warned that means-testing could destroy personal accounts, as the parties are coming at the issue from different directions.

He said: “We have a very clear alternative policy in the citizens’ pension but the Tories, as with most things, have not. I still hope a consensus can be built and that the Tories are part of that too but we do not stand together on the issue.”

Alexander said he will be in discussions with the Government over a possible middle way of addressing the means-testing issue without moving wholeheartedly to a citizen’s pension.

He said a LibDem Government would link the basic state pension with earnings straight away, rather than wait until 2012 or 2015, and look to introduce the citizens’ pension over the next two Parliaments.

Recommended

Bad days at Northern Rock

Tanya Powley charts the events that led to queues of panicked savers outside Northern Rock branches last week and examines how the situation could affect bank funding policy in future

Woolwich and Abbey are set to break up Rock share

Woolwich and Abbey have been tipped as two balance sheet lenders that could seize a big part of Northern Rock’s market share.Mortgage Force managing director Rob Clifford told the Money Marketing sub-prime round table that Abbey have grabbed an early lead in terms of emulating a product like Northern Rock’s Together product.But John Charcol senior […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com