The Work and Pensions Select Committee has published its report on the Government’s plan for the Single Tier Pension (STP). The ICBP viewed this as a good opportunity to make the case once again for up-rating pensions for UK pensioners living in countries where it is currently frozen. As part of the Committee’s four week period of evidence sessions and hearings, the ICBP was invited to give written evidence to the inquiry. The ICBP submission stressed the increasing urgency of the campaign and put forward a strong case against current government policy.
In their final report issued today, the Committee summarises the evidence it received from the ICBP and its affiliated branch (the CABP). In support of repeated ICBP arguments, the Committee agrees that the existing situation is “clearly an anomaly”. It goes on to say that the introduction of the STP “presents an opportunity to remove this anomaly” whilst noting that such changes would only affect future pensioners after the STP implementation date. The Committee acknowledges the plight of current frozen pensioners but notes that a decision on the existing situation “needs to be taken separately and on its own merits”.
The findings of Select Committees and their recommendations are frequently used by Parliamentarians when Bills (such as STP Bill) are scrutinised by the House of Commons. Their recommendations are also thoroughly scrutinised by the Department affected and can be incorporated by Departments when making preparations to lay a Bill before the House of Commons.
The recognition of and reference to the campaign by such a high profile Committee serves to add weight to the strong arguments already put forward by the ICBP for changes to existing policy on frozen pensions. With help from its members and supporters the Consortium continues to fight for pension justice within Parliament.