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Rebels to fight means-test bill

The Liberal Democrats are predicting a backbench rebellion against the Government over its State Pensions Credit Bill because it introduces universal means testing.

Lib Dem pensions spokesman Steve Webb says there are a number of Labour MPs who are questioning extending means-testing, as the pension credit proposes to do, and will be likely vote against the bill when it reaches the House of Commons in about six weeks time.

Webb says: “It is essentially mass means-testing by another name. It will be likely to be opposed by those Labour MPs who want a return to the earnings&#39 link. We do not agree with the rebels&#39 solution but we are against the pension credit.”

Testifying before the Work and Pensions select committee last week, Legal & General pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding claimed that the pension credit will make it less important for lower-earning people to receive face-to-face advice.

He was asked about fears which have been expressed by other life offices that the measure will lead to fewer lower-earners getting one-to-one advice and said he does not think it will matter.

Boulding says: “The pension credit makes it less necessary to give one-to-one advice, particularly to those on lower incomes.

“With the credit, you can look at low-income people and tell them they will be better off saving than if they spent their money.”

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