Yesterday in Parliament, shadow culture secretary Ed Vaizey said that the Government is effectively setting up “the greatest pension misselling scandal of the 21st century” because of the issue of means-testing and criticised the Government over the delay to personal accounts.
Eagle responded by saying that Vaizey was appearing to indicate that the consensus was over and asked him whether this was the case.
Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson responded to Eagle by saying: “Perhaps the Minister remembers that Turner said that the scheme should start in 2010. Does she accept that it would be sensible for any new Government to hold a review of personal accounts, especially in the light of the four-year delay in implementation that she recently announced? Can she confirm that the delivery authority will not sign any binding contracts with providers prior to the date of the next general election?”
In response, Eagle said: “It seems to me, then, that the consensus is ending. I have not announced a four-year delay. What I have done is agree with the considered advice from the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority, which has looked at the sheer scale of the auto-enrolment that will see up to 10 million people saving for the first time into workplace pension schemes, with a guaranteed employer contribution. It would be folly to decide to do that too quickly and collapse the whole scheme. There is no delay. There is just good implementation that will not put at risk the architecture that we have to create from scratch.”