Author Archives: Steve Webb MP

Steve Webb writes… Lib Dems will write the pensions ‘triple lock’ guarantee into law

webb 01For decades, successive Labour and Conservative governments allowed the state pension to decline after Margaret Thatcher broke the ‘earnings link’ in 1980. The nadir of this was in the Labour years, when Gordon Brown increased the state pension by just 75p a week.

I was determined that the Liberal Democrats would do something about this appalling situation. In our manifesto in 2010 we campaigned on a ‘triple lock’ guarantee. This was a commitment that the pension would rise by whichever rating was highest in each year – by earnings, prices …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 24 Comments

Steve Webb MP writes…Tackling rip-offs, standing up for savers

SavingsEarlier today, I had the pleasure of announcing in the House of Commons a raft of new measures designed to make sure that when people save for a pension they get value for money.

One of the Coalition’s most successful policies, for which I have had lead responsibility, is the introduction of ‘automatic enrolment’ into workplace pensions.   Starting with the biggest firms in October 2012, and reaching the smallest ones by 2017, employers now have a legal duty to put their workers in a pension scheme and to make an employer …

photo by: Tax Credits
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Steve Webb writes… 2 Millionth Person auto enrolled into a workplace pension

Today, the latest figures for the number of people placed into a workplace pension have been announced, and I am delighted to say that the 2 millionth person has now been auto enrolled into a pension.

It is essential that workers are encouraged to save towards their retirement, if they wish to maintain a standard of living comparable to what they have grown accustomed to whilst earning a wage. In the year leading up to the start of the scheme, across the private sector, only one worker out of three had any pension at all from their job – and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 2 Comments

Steve Webb MP writes… A truly radical pensions reform

As LDV readers will no doubt be aware, this year marks the 105th birthday of the 1908 Old-Age Pensions Act. Through this Act, Lloyd George introduced the first state pension to Britain, providing 5 shillings (£0.25) a week for those over 70. Fast forward nearly forty years to another great Liberal, William Beveridge, and the National Insurance Act of 1946 that gave birth to the modern state pension. Beveridge’s original idea was for a single, simple, decent state pension, paid after a lifetime of National Insurance Contributions and not subject to a means-test.

Beveridge’s principles have been subject to a sort …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 28 Comments

Steve Webb’s speech to the Liberal Democrat conference

The other day, someone came up to me and said:

“Steve, you’re an above-average pensions minister!”

In a world where praise can be a bit hard to come by, I took that as a compliment.

But he quickly said:

“No, I didn’t mean that you’re good at your job, I meant you’ve survived longer than most pension ministers!”

And when I inquired, I found out that I was, indeed, the 11th different pensions minister in the last 14 years.

So it is hardly suprising that pensions policy has been a bit piecemeal and messy over the years.

Every change with the best of intentions, but put it …

Posted in Conference | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Steve Webb writes: working for pensioners, now and in the future

When I was appointed Pensions Minister last May my first priority was protecting current pensioners. It was widely assumed that the spending review would see cuts to a range of forms of help that pensioners receive. But despite the spending pressures, the budgets for bus passes, free television licences, free prescriptions and the Winter Fuel Allowance have been protected at the level set out by the previous government. Better still, where Labour had planned to cut Cold Weather Payments to £8.50 per week we have made them £25 permanently to protect the most vulnerable when the temperature is below …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Tagged , , , , and | 29 Comments

Steve Webb MP writes: Making welfare work

As a Lib Dem Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, I thought it would be helpful to comment on the Welfare Reform Bill published today.

I wrote in November that there is much in the Bill that we as a party should welcome. The Universal Credit sits comfortably with our own policy to introduce a single working-age benefit to replace the current nightmarishly complex system.

Today’s Bill lays a framework for a radical improvement in the way welfare works in this country. It will be simpler, clearer, and will target resources at those who need it most …

Posted in News | Tagged | 15 Comments

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  • User AvatarTony Greaves 5th Feb - 10:05pm
    No-one has yet answered the underlying practical question posed. We have no safe seats to guarantee automatic election. At the next election we will have...
  • User AvatarRoland 5th Feb - 9:54pm
    I do get the distinct impression that UKIP are once again leading the 'debate', it is unfortunate that many in other parties seem to act...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 5th Feb - 9:44pm
    @nvelope2003 "Why is this ?" A relatively small number of by-elections is unlikely to be a representative sample. More significantly, Lib Dems are not standing...
  • User AvatarWilliam Summers 5th Feb - 9:40pm
    It is ridiculous in my view to (theoretically) promote a privileged woman with, say, a highly paid job and a private education over a man...
  • User AvatarIan Swales 5th Feb - 9:30pm
    Louise, I think you're right about the voters - that they tend not to be biased. You also say "However Lib Dem local parties can...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 5th Feb - 9:12pm
    Genuine question here. If we go for AWSs, someone will have to decide which winnable seats they will apply to. It'll certainly affect areas where...