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Autumn Statement: Comment from Work and Pensions Committee Chair Sir Stephen Timms MP

22 November 2023

Commenting on today’s Autumn Statement, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, Rt Hon Sir Stephen Timms MP, said:

“The Chancellor’s decision to listen to the Committee and others and stick with the usual practice of raising benefits in line with the September inflation measure is welcome. Using a lower figure would have eroded the real terms value of benefits at a time when they are already historically low. The various packages of support provided to help with cost of living over the last couple of years have highlighted a broader question about the adequacy of benefits. The Committee is currently examining some of the issues to see whether a consensus can be reached on what an adequate level of support should be.

We will want to closely examine the extra support set out in the Back to Work Plan. Any expansion of tailored support and moves towards a truly person-centred approach would be a welcome step but it must help people find and stay in the right job. DWP needs to be transparent about the evaluation and results of its work in this area.

On pensions, the proposal for a lifetime pension pot is a significant development. The Government will need to make sure that support and safeguards are in place to protect individuals making decisions on their savings, and to pay close attention to the concerns employers will have.”

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