Sometimes you have to laugh to stop yourself crying. Most of us have enjoyed this headline. Though – as this blog explains- the title of one of Liz Truss’ Ministers will not lettuce forget her 45 days of madness!
But while we fall about in mirth. Let’s be sure we preserve this tweet.
🔐 We will protect the Triple Lock – helping pensioners with the cost of living and providing the security and dignity pensioners deserve. pic.twitter.com/2OYwFk9P1D
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 19, 2022
and this retweet
Because right now we don’t really understand very much about what the Conservative party intends to do on pensions, and if the triple lock happens so slip open and become a double lock, it would be good to have these tweets “undeleted”.
It would be good to remind ourselves of them , because I suspect the triple lock is still under threat and if the Pensions Minister cannot grow our state pension, he can do his best to get pension credit gets an inflation link. I wouldn’t normally be so sceptical, but you know what promises are like these days.
And this “new era” promised so much.
Delighted to be formally confirmed as Minister for Pensions and Growth at @dwpgovuk
Looking forward to helping people do more with their pensionshttps://t.co/3npcXw5YvU
— Alex Burghart (@alexburghart) October 12, 2022
Will our pension minister’s title “Minister for Pensions and Growth” become a millstone around his neck?
We’re going for growth 📈#GetBritainMoving pic.twitter.com/cTe78VERkp
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) October 12, 2022
A cursory perusal of the Alex Burghart’s twitter timeline finds that he has been keen to promote the ex-chancellor’s growth agenda.
Another retweet is of Greg Hands going for a triple lock of growth! Britain is the IMF’s growth darling. This is of course the same IMF that has been rebuking the Conservative Government for economic idiocy.
Growth! Growth! Growth!
Still much more to do! pic.twitter.com/nTMoqSpMWW
— Greg Hands (@GregHands) October 11, 2022
So much more to do, so little time to do it in! Sadly, time to was up for Liz and her mates within a week of this euphoric exhortation.
But back to Alex. He’ll find a little less talk of growth in the weeks to come.
Still , once the Tory party has taken another 10 days off to choose another new leader, Alex may finally be able to get round to doing his day-job.
However , closer inspection of Alex’s new roles and responsibilities suggest they are rather less exciting than his tweets.
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Pensions and Growth)
- pensioner benefits, including new State Pension, Winter Fuel Payments, Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance
- private and occupational pensions, including regulatory powers and the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)
- cross-cutting role on economic growth, supporting MoS on the labour market
- fraud, error and debt
- housing policy and Housing Benefit delivery, including Support for Mortgage Interest and supported accommodation
- Social Fund (Cold Weather Payments, Sure Start Maternity grants and Funeral Expenses Payment scheme)
- oversight of arms-length bodies, including the Pensions Regulator, Pension Protection Fund, Financial Assistance Scheme and Pensions Ombudsman
- Net Zero
There’s not much here about pensions and a lot here about fraud, error debt and – oddly – “net zero” – is that a growth target?
Hardly any of these responsibilities relate to growth, apart from supporting the Minister of State on the labour market. Presumably that will be employing a lot more people to sort out problems with the state pension.
The legacy of Liz Truss and her growth-grab could haunt our minister for pensions , let’s hope he grows our state pensions!