Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): The Minister seems to hold the almost incredible belief that removing ?5 billion a year from pension funds has no negative effect on those funds. Does she know anyone who shares that view, other than the late Robert Maxwell?

    Dawn Primarolo: As the right hon. Gentleman knows?or as I thought he knew?the effects on pension funds and on the stock market are varied. To try to attribute those effects to changes in the tax system?changes that were beneficial to our companies, and which his party pursued when in government?is absolutely ridiculous. He needs to address the question of why the hon. Member for Havant, the Conservative spokesperson on social security, now says that he does not think that the Conservatives will be returning to the tax credits. There are better ways of helping pensions and pension funds than going back to the old system. It is the right hon. Gentleman who lives in the past; this Government are placing the economy in a competitive system to benefit citizens now and in the future.