Esther McVey named as new minister for pensions

Tatton MP, Esther McVey has replaced David Gauke as secretary of state for work and pensions as part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s new year cabinet reshuffle.

The Liverpudlian MP has already had a spell in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) between 2013 and 2015 and was parliamentary under secretary for state for the disabled during the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Prior to politics, she was a TV presenter and ran her own business.

David Gauke has been appointed as secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice.

But former pensions minister Steve Webb, who is now director of policy at Royal London, says her predecessor was not given sufficient time to prove his worth.

-Editor’s comment: Cold comfort for retirees from the UK state pension

‘It is deeply disappointing that David Gauke has been moved from his role in charge of UK pensions policy. Pensioners and workers saving for their retirement need someone in charge at the DWP who understands pensions and who has a good relationship with the Treasury. David Gauke ticked both of those boxes and it is very regrettable that he was given just seven months in the role. Once again we have a revolving door of pensions ministers which will deprive us of the stability which such a long-term area requires,’ he comments.

Following Esther McVey’s promotion, Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, has urged the new pensions minister to fight on behalf of the WASPI women – those born in the 1950s who have missed out on years of state pension entitlement following changes to state pension age.

Mr Lloyd says: ‘It’s clear that all the political parties in government comprehensively failed these women. A lamentable lack of communication right from the original pensions act in 1994 has left many of them feeling let down, ignored and totally under-valued. This injustice must be urgently addressed.’

The MP claims that the necessary cash for this could be found by delaying proposed cuts to corporation tax (from 19 per cent to 17 per cent in 2020) for one year.

This article was originally written by our sister publication Moneywise.

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