Anorak News | Gordon Brown Pension Raider

Gordon Brown Pension Raider

by | 2nd, April 2007

pension-protest.jpg‘NEW Labour’ and ‘spin’ sit as comfortably together as ‘bread’ and ‘butter’, ‘fish’ and ‘chips’ and ‘Pete Doherty’ and ‘bad hygiene” and now, once again, the Government is being accused of another gigantic spin, this time in relation to pensions.

Back in 1997, when Tony and Gordon were mere striplings, filled to the brim with hope and yet to be sullied by sleaze, war, more sleaze and more war, the Chancellor cut relief on company dividends in his first budget, a move which raised £5 billion a year from retirement funds but also lead in part to the number of people in final salary schemes falling from 11 million to just 4 million.

However, a decade on, and the episode is back in the news following the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act on Friday, documents which reveal that the Chancellor had been warned about his plans to remove key tax benefits enjoyed by pension funds in that first budget.

However, while ministers had been insisting that Brown’s decision had been endorsed by the Confederation of British Industry, the CBI have now refuted that suggestion with director-general Richard Lambert accusing the Government of spinning the story.   Lambert claims his organisation had “objected strenuously to the policy”.

The Times sees this latest embarrassment for the Brown as another reason why his move to No. 10 might not be such a smooth operation after all.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne has also vowed to lead a Commons debate on the issue, all of which is sure to turn the heat up on poor old Gordie.

Posted: 2nd, April 2007 | In: Money Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink