Conservative MP Mark Hoban becomes Financial Secretary to the Treasury, a role he previously shadowed, while former Shadow Treasury minister Justine Greening becomes Economic Secretary to the Treasury.
Webb (pictured) returned to the work and pensions brief for the LibDems in January 2009 after impressing many in the industry when he previously held the post between 2001 and 2005. He contributed to the LibDems’ Orange book in support of economic liberalism in 2004.
Over the years Webb has constantly championed the idea of a citizens’ pension, offering a higher basic state pension around the level of the pensions credit to everyone meeting a residency criteria. The LibDems rolled back from a commitment to a citizens’ pension in their recent manifesto due to the current economic climate but it remains a long term goal.
In a recent Money Marketing article, Webb expressed general support for the idea of Nest although he warned the scheme would fail if concerns regarding means-testing were not addressed.
He said: “Real concern remains about the impact of mass means-testing of pensioners on incentives to save in Nest. The Government has tried to park this issue but it will not go away.
“The challenge of building confidence that it will pay to save in Nest is pervasive. It will have to be addressed before 2012 if the launch of personal accounts is not to be undermined by doubts – ill-informed or not – about whether it will be worthwhile saving.”
In recent interviews with Money Marketing and Corporate Adviser Steve Webb called for the scrapping of higher-rate pension tax relief, for the Open Market Option to be made the default option and advocated greater flexibility in allowing individuals to take money out of their pension early.
Mark Hoban was elected to Parliament in 2001 and took on the Shadow Treasury role in 2005 with responsibilites including the FSA and retail financial services, including IFA regulation.
He has been a keen follower of the progress of the retail distribution review and regularly attends Aifa events. However, Hoban has refused to offer much of an opinion on the RDR, except to welcome its general direction, suggesting it is a matter for the FSA and not for politicians.
Greening was elected to Parliament in 2005 and has previously worked on the work and pensions committee before her Shadow Treasury role and her role as Shadow minister for London.
Elsewhere, former Conservative MP Grant Shapps becomes housing minister, a position he previously shadowed.