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Work & Pensions

When John first became Weston’s MP in 2005 he was one of the few newly-elected Conservatives who volunteered for the Parliamentary Committee (the ‘Select Committee’ in the jargon) that monitored the Government’s performance on Work and Pensions, and held Ministers to account when things went wrong.

Work and Pensions is an enormous Government Department which handles everything from the state and workplace pensions, the Child Support Agency (CSA), through benefits paid to people who are sick or disabled, plus finding jobs for people who are out of work and health and safety legislation as well.

John volunteered for the job partly because, as MP for an area which has plenty of retired folk, he wanted to keep an eye on what the (then Labour) Government was up to on pensions. And partly because he felt that the benefits system was badly broken and needed to be fixed, so it rewards people who work, and who put something by for a rainy day.

Over the next 4 years, until he was promoted to become Conservative spokesman for Business in 2009, John worked on a series of cross-party studies and reports recommending how these areas could be improved. In that time he covered Pensions [Pension Reform], Carers [Valuing and Supporting Carers], Benefits Reform [Benefits Simplification] with an Annexe [Page 108] which prefigured many later Coalition Government policies from 2010 onwards, Child Support [Child Support Reform], Incapacity Benefits [Incapacity Benefits and Pathways to Work], Employment Strategy [The Government's Employment Strategy] and Health & Safety [The role of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive in regulating workplace health and safety].

John’s involvement didn’t end there, of course. He continues to support local organisations involved in these issues, like Weston's Senior Citizen Forum, Crossroads (helping local carers) and You Tree (supporting local cancer sufferers); and he remains strongly committed to a benefits and a pension system that clearly and systematically rewards people who do the right thing (like work and save) and which, as a result, has the public's trust.


Weston Mercury: Government proposal to help disabled job-seekers

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The Weston Mercury reports on the Government proposals supported by John Penrose that could help more than 800 local disabled people who want to work but are unable to find a job...


The Times: It’s time to think big to rebalance our economy

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In an article for The Times, John discusses the reasoning behind his calls for a Sovereign Wealth Fund to rebalance the economy...


The Times: Could families in the UK soon be buying homes without a deposit/mortgage?

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In an article by The Times about people who rent potentially being able to buy their homes without a deposit or mortgage, the journalist, Francis Elliott, draws upon some of John's ideas in his Sovereign Wealth Fund paper...


John calls for UK sovereign wealth fund

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In a new paper published with the Social Market Foundation (SMF), John has called on the government to launch a UK sovereign wealth fund to correct the “long-term and structurally-ingrained weaknesses” of the UK economy, such as low saving rates, a low investment rate and failure to build infrastructure...


John lays out the opportunities for the UK following Brexit...

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In an article for Politics Home, John discusses means of securing better standards of living, higher productivity, and an economy that works for everyone in a post-Brexit Britain...

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