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MPs urged to probe means-testing gulf

The Conservatives have called for the Pension Bill’s standing committee to take advantage of new Parliamentary powers to examine the gulf between the DWP and Pensions Policy Institute means-testing projections.

The DWP has calculated that under the forthcoming ref-orms, around 30 per cent of individuals will be subject to means-testing in 2050 but the PPI claims the figure could be as high as 50 per cent.

Tory Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson says representatives from the DWP and PPI should be scrutinised in evidence sessions at the committee stage of the Bill, which starts this week, to get to the bottom of the differences between the figures. The PPI is unlikely to change its projections and believes its figures are realistic.

The independent body published research last November claiming that there is industry consensus against the future proposed role of means-testing, with only one of the 24 responses to the Government’s White Paper supporting its role under the current reforms.

Waterson said: “Why do we not factor into the committee stage of the bill an evidence session, bring along the boffins from the DWP and the other boffins from the PPI and get them to argue the case and their differing assumptions in front of the committee? The issue is central and crucial.”

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