Speaking to Express.co.uk, MP Frank Field raised the possibility of select committees having greater powers, including to introduce bills, as he blasted the Government’s decision to maintain the state pension triple lock.
There is “no free ride” said the chair of the influential pensions committee, after the Conservative and DUP deal maintained the state pension triple lock, which guarantees income rises by at least 2.5 per cent year.
The growing cost of retirement payouts will have to be paid by either pushing back the official retirement age, or through lowering the welfare of working age people, according to the politician whose reappointment as chair of the pensions committee was confirmed this week.
Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign pledge to keep the triple lock, the Labour MP said he is “very happy” to keep pushing for the state to drop the guarantee.
He told Express.co.uk: “I’m sure pensioners would prefer to retire earlier rather than those who are retired to keep the triple lock – this has never been explained to them.”
Mr Field said there should instead be a double lock – where income rises by either the higher of inflation or average earnings – a policy that was expected to be introduced by the Conservatives, had Theresa May won a majority.
The growing cost of the state pension could force the retirement age above life expectancy in parts of the country by 2060, according to a report by released by the work and pensions committee earlier this year.
The MP for Birkenhead is now set to continue the group’s scrutiny of state pension sustainability.
Rather than bring forward of the retirement age, it’s more likely the Government will pass on the cost to younger families, according to Mr Field.
He said: “I don’t think that’s fair.”
One of the first areas the MP has in his sights as returning head of the committee is workers being automatically enrolled into personal pension schemes, where charges can erode savers returns.
Workers could see up to 30 per cent more pension under a collective pension scheme, according to Mr Field.
He wants to take evidence to look at why the Government’s workplace pension scheme NEST does not run such a system.
The MP also signalled more joint approaches with fellow committees, after the Work and Pensions group previously joined forces with the Business Innovation and Skills committee worked together on the BHS inquiry.
He revealed he has already reached out to Rachel Reeves, who has been elected as the new chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
The two groups could further scrutinise Britain’s growing gig economy and the rights of employees in the sector.
Mr Field also raised the prospect of select committees being given the power to introduce bills where there is a need for legislation.
The Taylor Review released this week said workers for companies such as Uber and Deliveroo should get extra benefits and be classified as dependent contractors.
Mr Field said the report provided a “very good floor on which to build but it is not sadly the great paper of reform”.