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Rebel MP bids to link pension with earnings

Rebel Labour backbencher Kate Hoey is proposing an early day motion urging the Government to link the state pension to earnings.

The EDM has gained 77 cross-party signatures, including 55 Labour MPs, backing the proposal.

It supports the call for the restoration of the earnings link set out in the Pensioners&#39 Manifesto drawn up by the National Pensioners&#39 Convention after consultation with 800 organisations. The manifesto was set out at the Pensioners&#39 Parliament convention of retirement sector organisations in Blackpool in the summer.

MPs backing the EDM say the views of the UK&#39s 11 million pensioners are not being addressed. They call on the Government to endorse the key points in the manifesto, in particular linking the basic state pension to earnings, a policy put forward by the Conservatives this year.

At that time, the independent Pensions Policy Institute criticised the move as doing nothing for low-income women – the poorest pensioners – because they are less likely to be entitled to basic state pension because of lower levels of National Insurance contributions.

Hoey, MP for Vauxhall and a former sports minister, has challenged the Government line on a number of issues from hand guns to fox hunting. Her decision to back calls from the Opposition to link the pension to earnings is a further indication of party division over pension policy.

Conservative pensions spokesman Nigel Waterson says: “I have already expressed my backing for linking the state pension to earningsthis is central to my party&#39s policy. We have got a bizarre situation here where ministers are still backing the Government&#39s policy but I suspect that if there were an open vote a large number of Labour backbenchers would not support it.”


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