The private members bill calling for amendment of the law requiring the compulsory purchase of annui...
The private members bill calling for amendment of the law requiring the compulsory purchase of annuities at age 75 has cleared another hurdle after it was passed in the teeth of Government opposition.
The bill was passed with a majority of 112 despite a highly critical speech made by chief secretary to the Treasury Ruth Kelly and repeated pronouncements from ministers that it was a measure designed to help the rich.
Howard Flight, shadow paymaster general said the victory made it much more likely that investors would no longer be forced to buy an annuity.
He said: "It makes it much harder for the Government to ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of people don't want to be forced to buy an annuity."
The Conservatives had a three line whip supporting the motion, something very unusual for a private members bill. They were supported by the Liberal Democrats and a couple of Labour MPs.
Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard MP, and Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative party leader joined several other frontbenchers and about 30 other Conservative who MPs attended the debate.
The Labour Party had only seven MPs present for most of the debate and only 27 voted against the bill. Some Labour MPs were broadly supportive of the aims but felt that the bill did not get it right.
Mark Hendrick, Labour MP for Preston, said: "The area needs loking at but after listening to Ruth Kelly I feel that it is too weighted to those on high incomes."
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