WORK AND PENSIONS – PENSIONS REFORM – 4 June 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: If he [the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions] will make a statement on the progress of pensions reform?

[The Minister for Pensions Reform (James Purnell): We have made significant progress on long-term reform of the pensions system, which began back in November 2002 with the establishment of the Pensions Commission. The Pensions Bill is now entering the Committee stage in the Lords, and last December we published our proposals to transform the culture of under-saving in the UK for millions of people by introducing personal accounts.]

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] But does the Minister agree that, if pension reform is to be worth the name, there must be a strong restoration of confidence in the procedures to prevent people who have lost pensions from sustaining those losses? He referred to the Bill going through the Lords. Will he guarantee that if the Lords pass amendments on Wednesday that will ensure that those losses are made up, he and his fellow Ministers will not ensure that his hon. Friends are whipped into voting against those amendments and against their conscience?