The secretary of state for work and pensions, John Hutton, has called for a cross-party consensus on pension reform in a debate in the House of Commons yesterday.
In a speech to MPs yesterday Hutton stated the white paper set out the changes the government intended to make to the pensions system in the UK over the next few years.
He called the reforms "radical and far-reaching", and he stated there was a large measure of support for the general principles behind the reforms.
Hutton also said MPs could not "pick and choose" from within the package to avoid tough choices that had to be made.
"Those who want to change some elements of the proposals need to explain how they could do so without jeopardising the key outcomes of fairness, simplicity and affordability," Hutton said.
Phillip Hammond, shadow pensions spokeman for the Conservative party, said he welcomed the opportunity to debate the propsals in the government's white paper.
And he agreed on the need for cross party concensus. But Hammond said he was disappointed by the level of engagement between the opposition and the government before the publication of the white paper describing its publication as a "fait accompli".
Hutton and James Purnell, minister for pensions reform, claim to have already had a number of meetings with members of the Conservative party and that civil servants have talked them through the detail of the white paper.
Hutton told MPs the government is serious about achieving a national consensus and that there has been a good reception in Parliament and across the country to the white paper.
The main elements of the white paper include:
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