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Ros Altmann: ‘I have been silenced on pension issues’

Ros Altmann

Pensions minister Ros Altmann says she has been “silenced” by former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, particularly on the issue of women’s state pensions.

In a statement published over the weekend following Duncan Smith’s explosive resignation, Altmann argues his departure is more about his stated position for the UK to leave the European Union, rather than cuts to benefit payments.

She says: “From a personal perspective, for months I have been silenced by him and what I have said has been strictly controlled.”

Altmann says she has been forced to accept this is part of being in Government.

She adds: “I have found him exceptionally difficult to work for. It has been a hugely challenging time for me as he was preventing me from speaking to the public and has often been obstructive to my efforts to resolve important pension policy issues such as on women’s pensions.

“I am looking forward to working with new Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb.”

Before taking office, Altmann campaigned for a slower timetable in the acceleration of state pension ages.

She told Money Marketing last year there had been “misinformation” about the changes under the coalition government, which she claimed had failed to explain the reforms adequately to those affected.


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There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I suspect after the departure of IDS, Ms Altman might find that the job of “preventing [her] from speaking to the public” will just be passed to someone else.

  2. Ros: Your quote misses one word: ‘Again’. I have been silenced on pension issues AGAIN.

    Remember Tony Blair. Sorry to be a clever clogs but I told you so – you might have seen a post of mine when you were first appointed warning you of this very thing

  3. Sorry Ros, but there is little point mud slinging now ! the time to have done this was when IDS was there……..

    I have great respect for people who do speak up for what they believe in, be this right or wrong, I don’t for those who offer excuses after the effect !

  4. Anyone who has worked for large organisations will understand this problem. As for the ‘quiet man’, well he now has an opportunity to shut up and go away – what’s the betting?

  5. If every government minister were permitted to throw a public tantrum every time their wishes are overruled, the entire system of government would swiftly descend into a pie-throwing fight. Ros seems to be a pleasant lady, but frankly a number of her ideas are either barmy or complete non-starters.

  6. She took their 5 pieces of silver and is now complaining!

    She knew what she was getting into and also has the option of resigning if she feels strongly enough about something.

  7. So, Baroness Altmann, can we now expect you to speak up about Women’s pensions, Excessive MVRs. an amnesty for protected Tax Free Cash, dispensing with the LTA, moving the ubiquitous age 75 to age 80 in line with pension age changes due to new longevity stats and no more pension changes for the life of this parliament?

  8. Well said Ted.

  9. When you put your position, and salary, before the welfare of others you become part of the establishment.

  10. Spot on Ted but I daresay our collective breath remains unheld re those matters. I sense the Baroness is rather too much in love with the spotlight nowadays (witness the scenes on tv today of her apparently waving to the media). Her idea that IDS resigned on the grounds of his support for Brexit is laughable.

  11. Take The High Road 21st March 2016 at 4:00 pm

    ….quite honestly, I’m completely fed up hearing these wining politicians.What’s the point of Ms Altman being in her position….another useless waste of taxpayers hard earned cash!!

    On that basis, we all might well be off voting for Brexit….then again, maybe we should now have a much smaller parliament; bearing in mind what some people are not allowed to say/do in their position….get out Ms Altman, clearly this job is not suited to you at all!!!

  12. When there is not enough money to go around you have to make cuts. What this is all about is who can blame who for years of over promising and now finding you cannot deliver. More over its about who can progress their career. Yet again they will over promise and leave a massive debt for someone else to try and sort out.

  13. Dr Altmann, a Labour party member until 2007 may well have political differences with IDS and indeed the Conservative party. The trouble with all this “in” fighting is it deflects from the vacuous lack of policy on the part of Labour, and a risks allowing a ‘quasi Marxist’ wolf into Downing Street. Let’s ask Corbyn what he would do to bring down the deficit?

  14. Well said everyone. Fully agree with all comments!! With age comes wisdom, except it doesn’t!!

  15. Anyone noticed how bias the BBC is in its reporting of these troubles & its pro EU stance? No mention by the BBC of an effective opposition without an alternative policy (perhaps because there is none). The BBC is of course a massive beneficiary of the tax payer, a state imposed monopoly. We need to understand that individuals, organisations and government must not be insured against the negative consequences of their own inefficient behaviour. The taxpayer is not a bottomless pit that can be pulled in to rescue inefficient welfare behaviour.

  16. Baroness Altmann does herself no favours with her statement. It is not acceptable to keep quiet on pension concerns when you’re the pensions minister.

  17. @simon Mansell – fascinating to hear your thoughts but what do they have to do with this post? Nothing

  18. I would rather have someone like the Baroness, who may be an unelected political novice, but at least she is a pensions fan

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