The recently installed secretary of state for work and pensions David Gauke has said he will not ‘shy away from big decisions’ in his new position.
Gauke (pictured), who was appointed work and pensions secretary in the post-election reshuffle, has written in a piece in the Financial Times that the past few Conservative governments have made big calls on pensions.
‘In the past, successive governments have sometimes “tinkered around the edges”, making layers and layers of small changes, rather than making fundamental reforms,’ he wrote for the paper.
‘But since 2010 the government has worked hard to address this, making substantial reform where it is needed and thinking long term about how we can ensure that tomorrow’s pensioners can have the retirement they deserve.’
The former Treasury minister added he too was prepared to make important decisions when it comes to pension policy.
‘My message here is that I will not shy away from the big decisions and where change is needed, it will be made. As the election highlighted, how we live in later life is very much on everyone’s minds, both young and old; and that is why we must continue to build on pensions provision that works for all. We need a state pension age that is both fair and sustainable and we need people to approach retirement feeling confident, including in the security of their pension.’
In his position Gauke is due to make of a number of these ‘big decisions’ with the government missing the 7 May deadline to decide on the future of the state pension age.
He will also have to decide what with the next stage of auto-enrolment will look like with the review of the policy due to be published later this year.
In the Conservatives manifesto, the Party pledged to include the self-employed within auto-enrolment. In his piece in the Financial Times today, Gauke reiterated the government’s intention to include the self-employed within the saving system.
‘With the rise of the gig economy, it would be wrong to overlook the savings needs of the 4.8m self-employed people in this country,’ he wrote.