Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): I congratulate the Minister on his well-deserved promotion to his new role. Does he agree that the mind-boggling complexity of pension credit makes it difficult to publicise and undermines the savings culture? If he disagrees with me, could he explain, in the brief time that Mr. Speaker will allow, how to calculate the entitlement to pension credit for someone on low earnings?

    Malcolm Wicks: We are already receiving a number of good reports from pensioners whom the Pension Service has written to and who have understood the leaflet and are applying for pension credit. The idea of being able to apply for it over the phone, when not the pensioner herself, but one of our staff expert in the matter calculates the entitlement, is a major advance. I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his congratulations and ask him to concede that the new system is an advance on the position under a previous Secretary of State.