UK - Oliver Letwin, the Conservative shadow home secretary, has attacked the Civil Partnerships Bill, labelling it "both wrong and unnecessary".
Letwin claims that while the Bill does attempt to redress some of the problems facing unmarried couples - such as entitlement to survivor benefits from occupational pension schemes - it creates a “watered-down variant” of marriage that would undermine the institution and increase government intrusion into the lives of the public.
“Marriage is clear cut, whereas weaker alternatives would involve the State inquiring into the length or type of people’s relationships,” he claimed.
The Bill, sponsored by Liberal Democrat Lord Lester of Herne Hill, would create a civic partnership register, a new legal entity. The Bill would confer upon cohabiting couples property and pension rights currently only available to married couples.
According to Letwin, creating a civil register to provide those rights is unnecessary as there is a ready made solution - marriage: “There is no need to create a separate category of registered civil relationships for mixed couples, because anyone seeking those rights can attain them by marrying.”
Despite his opposition to the Bill, Letwin claimed that the Conservatives would find ways to attend to the “genuine” grievances of homosexual couples.
“The way to address these real concerns is not to invent a pale imitation of marriage,” he said. “They require particular, practical solutions - some of which may be legislative, others administrative. We [the Conservatives] have a duty to address them and we intend to do so.”
By Geoffrey Ho
Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay a total of £87,000 in fines and court costs after he was found guilty of failing to provide The Pensions Regulator (TPR) with information.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it while believes in the benefits of consolidating defined benefit (DB) schemes, there are significant issues to overcome.
There is just one week left to register to enter the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards 2018.
Nearly a third (32%) of employers believe new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will play a part in benefits communications, latest research from Aon Employee Benefits reveals.