Brown Cannot Hide Behind CBI Over Pensions Robbery

2007 Ebrill 3 2:38 PM

Commenting on the dispute between the CBI and the Treasury over the reasons behind the removal of dividend tax relief, Jenny Willott MP said:

"It is hardly surprising that Gordon Brown is still trying to shirk the blame for the impact his decision to fiddle with the pensions system when he first came to power in 1997.

"Removing tax relief on pension dividends reduced the funds in pension schemes. This has left huge numbers of people out of pocket and contributed to the financial misery that many ASW workers and over 100,000 others are facing today.

"Gordon Brown's removal of tax relief was a sneaky and non-transparent way of raising money for the Government without raising income tax.

"Rather than trying to hide behind the CBI, he would do far better to point out that the Tories were equally to blame for the occupational pensions scandal.

"It was the Tories that introduced the misleading minimum funding requirement for pension schemes that implied that people's pensions were secure no matter what happened to their employer. Behind the scenes, however, it was well known this was far from true.

"This latest move by the Treasury is another example of a Government that has consistently failed to be 'whiter than white' in its Departments. Gordon Brown should apologise to all those pensioners who are now out of pocket, including ASW workers."

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