.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, September 06, 2004

Pensioned off

Pensions Secretary, Andrew Smith, has fallen on his sword before it was inserted between his shoulder blades. Labour Watch see a link between his departure and planned cuts in disability benefits. It suggests that the revived interest in banning fox hunting is to buy off Labour backbenchers who might rebel against such cuts.

Of course Mr. Smith hardly lit up the political firmament in his former role and many pension issues remain unresolved, not least how to guarantee pensioners a decent income in retirement. As Liberal Democrat MP, Steve Webb says, "Andrew Smith's period in office will be remembered as one when the crises in company pensions grew unchecked, where mass means-testing was the order of the day and the pensions system became more complicated than ever."

Oxford MP, Dr. Evan Harris has a simpler take however. "This may be the first time the Liberal Democrat threat has caused a cabinet reshuffle! Andrew Smith is right to be worried about losing his Oxford East constituency, where the Liberal Democrats are in a decent second place, and at the last local and European elections topped the poll for the first time across Oxford city - the bulk of which makes up Andrew Smith's constituency."

Do you think that Mr. Smith writes poetry?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?