The MP for Tatton and former TV presenter Esther McVey has been appointed as the new secretary of state for work and pensions in the latest cabinet reshuffle from Theresa May. The MP has previous experience of the department, being the undersecretary of state for the disabled during the coalition government. The previous incumbent, David Gauke is now at the Ministry of Justice.
However, a former pensions minister has expressed disappointment that Gauke was not given enough time to make an impact on the job, which has been somewhat of a revolving door over previous years. Steve Webb, who was the pensions minister during the coalition government said:
"It is deeply disappointing that David Gauke has been moved from his role in charge of UK pensions policy. Pensioners and workers saving for their retirement need someone in charge at the DWP who understands pensions and who has a good relationship with the Treasury. David Gauke ticked both of those boxes and it is very regrettable that he was given just seven months in the role. Once again we have a revolving door of pensions ministers which will deprive us of the stability which such a long-term area requires."
Malcolm McLean the former head of The Pensions Advisory Service said that this near constant rotation of the position "is quite shocking and an absolute indictment of the importance of the role and its value to the government".
Meanwhile, pensions minister from 2015 to 2016 Baroness Ros Altmann wished McVey luck. "Good luck Esther! Really tough role and plenty to sort out!" she said on Twitter.
The new pensions minister will face a number of issues, including how to build upon the success of auto enrolment as well as the funding problems that many defined benefit pensions are facing.
Image credit: UK Parliament