APPG disappointed at Commons Vote extending frozen pensions to Single Tier Pension legislation
February 7, 2016 Frozen Pensions 2 Comments
Members of the APPG have expressed their disappointment that the House of Commons has voted to continue the freezing of overseas pensioners under the new Single Tier Pension legislation.
On 3 February 2016 the House of Commons approved a Statutory Instrument (SI), The State Pension and Occupational Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations, which introduced the framework for the continued freezing of overseas pensioners under the new Single Tier Pension legislation (for new pensioners).
It also contained a measure relating to the uprating of people in frozen countries who want to defer receiving their state pensions under the new single tier system (the only group affected by this specific measure this year).
The SI was valiantly challenged at committee stage by APPG Vice Chair Ian Blackford MP, with support from the DUP. But with limited time to mobilise support and against a government whip and Labour abstention, the vote was passed by 297 to 73.
Obviously this result is disappointing for members of the APPG, and no doubt other frozen pension campaigners.
There will however be a second SI – the Social Security Benefits Up-Rating Regulations 2016 – brought forward by the government in early March, which is the mechanism by which the government freezes the pensions of currently frozen pensioners for another year.
Unlike the measure voted on yesterday, this SI is however subject to negative procedure, which means that it needs to be actively annulled rather than simply rejected. As a result, it is considerably harder for MPs who are supportive of ending frozen pensions to secure a vote on it, due to the limited time made available for such matters.
Members of the APPG, are currently considering how they might secure a vote on this legislative measure.
The MPs who voted to reject the The State Pension and Occupational Pension Schemes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations on 3 February were:
Joseph (Alan) Meale
Thomas (David) Simpson
Liz Saville Roberts
Lady Sylvia Hermon