Sir George spoke up for the hundreds of his constituents who expected the Government to compensate them for having been misled about the safety of their occupational pensions schemes. (See exchange in House of Commons below.) “The government has been criticised by the Ombudsman; by a Select Committee; and now by the courts. But still they won’t admit they got this wrong.”
Sir George Young (North-West Hampshire) (Con): I welcome the tone of the Secretary of State’s statement, but does he agree that there is still a risk that this issue will escalate from a dispute between his Department and the occupational pensions authority into a dispute between Parliament and the Executive, because he has so far refused to accept the recommendations of the ombudsman and those of a Select Committee of this House? In order to avoid such a confrontation, will he give an undertaking that he will put whatever proposals he comes up with before the House for approval?
Mr. Hutton: It is certainly likely that if, and when, proposals are brought forward, there will be an opportunity for the House to vote on them. [Interruption.] The question of when that will happen has been asked from a sedentary position. I understand that amendments to the Pensions Bill dealing with the issues that we are discussing today have already been tabled, so I am confident that the House will have an opportunity to vote on them.