David Morris MP signalled his support for the Government’s Lifetime ISA scheme during the Savings (Government Contributions) Bill - 2nd reading in the House of Commons Chamber yesterday.
Speaking in the chamber David Morris MP said:
‘It is a pleasure to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Richard Graham). I am sure the Bill covers the self-employed, but that has not been brought up today. When I was self-employed 20 years ago, the then Government made a change to taxation which basically meant that a substantial amount of every pound that I put into my pension pot was taken out in cash, so I stopped paying into a private pension. The policy in front of us today proposes a break in that sort of behaviour, particularly for the self-employed. The self-employed have always been worried about the harmonisation of national insurance contributions. When I was the Prime Minister’s ambassador for the self-employed, I worked closely with my right hon. Friends the Members for Bromsgrove (Sajid Javid) and for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) on trying to harmonise national insurance contributions so that self-employed people would eventually have the same state pension.
However, I want to talk about the lifetime ISA proposal, because it should not be confused with an extra pension top-up, about which every speaker in the debate before me has talked. It should instead be seen as a savings guarantee for the future. It was a tidy move by the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions in reaching the point of harmonising NICs. This proposal takes us a little further into the realms of the self-employed being able to look after themselves in future.
I do not want the LISA to be confused with a pension supplement. It is not that. It is something that helps to save for the future. To put it in perspective, we hear a lot of doom and gloom, but let us look where we were seven years ago. The then Prime Minister, the former Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, used to say quite often that he had put an end to boom and bust, but we then went bust in the biggest possible way. Near enough 10 years down the line from that, we have to address how we are going to save for our future. As someone who took the decision 15 or 20 years not to pay into a pension plan, I wholeheartedly welcome what the Government are doing.
I want to provide some perspective. Unemployment is dropping in my constituency—so much so that a Labour councillor was boasting about his business and saying that he cannot get enough employees to fill the positions. The workplace pension has its place, but the LISA has a separate place. I hope that it will carry on and enable people to save for their old age.’