Commons to debate frozen pensions on 20 April 2017
April 3, 2017 Frozen Pensions 4 Comments
Following a successful bid by the APPG on Frozen British Pensions to the Backbench Business Committee, there will now be a debate on frozen pensions, in the House of Commons, on 20 April 2017.
MPs will have up to 3 hrs to debate a motion calling for the Uprating Regulations which freeze pensions to be withdrawn.
STATE PENSIONS PAYABLE TO RECIPIENTS OUTSIDE OF THE UK
That this House notes the detrimental effect that the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2017 will have on the lives of many expatriate UK citizens living overseas with frozen pensions; and insists that the Government take the necessary steps to withdraw those Regulations.
APPG Chairman, Sir Roger Gale MP, and Vice Chair, Ian Blackford MP, made their bid for parliamentary time on 28 March. Their application was supported by MPs of every party, including: Sir Roger Gale MP (Con), Sir Peter Bottomley MP (Con) Christopher Chope MP (Con), Gerald Howarth MP (Con), Kate Hoey MP (Lab), Roger Godsiff MP (Lab), Dennis Skinner MP (Lab), Ian Blackford MP (SNP), Mairi Black MP (SNP), Neil Gray MP (SNP), Brendan O’Hara MP (SNP), Greg Mulholland MP (LD), John Pugh MP (LD), Sammy Wilson MP (DUP), Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP), Liz Saville Roberts MP (PC), Jonathan Edwards MP (PC), Mark Durkan MP (SDLP), Caroline Lucas MP (Green).
The debate will be the first parliamentary occasion the new Minister for Pensions, Richard Harrington, has needed to publicly engage with the issue of frozen pensions.
As a Backbench Business debate, even if the Commons votes in favour of the motion, the result will not be binding on the government, but the APPG hope that it will increase pressure on DWP to take calls for reform seriously. All the opposition parties and a significant number of Conservative backbenchers are expected to speak favour reform. It will be the first opportunity for the Labour front bench advocate change, reflecting the new position encouraged by Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn is also understood to have written to the government to request a formal vote on the Social Security Benefit Up-rating Regulations 2017. If granted, this would be an opportunity for parliament to end frozen pensions. Often votes on delegated legislation occur without a debate, so the backbench debate on 20 April is also important in this context.