Brown and the Tories Knowingly Gambled with ASW Workers Futures

April 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Today it emerged that Gordon Brown was fully aware that removing dividend tax relief "would make a big hole in pension scheme finances".

The Parliamentary Ombudsman's report in 2006 into the Occupational Pensions Scandal revealed that the then Tory Government's changes to the pension system only gave schemes a 50% of chances of being able to meet all accrued pensions if the employer went bust.

Commenting, Jenny Willott MP and member of the Pubic Administration Committee that held an inquiry into the affair in 2006, said:

"Both the Tories and Gordon Brown knowingly gambled with ASW workers pensions. Their combined efforts have helped to rob ASW workers of secure retirement and left them in financial misery.

"The Tories pensions changes in 1995 gave ASW scheme members a 50-50 chance of receiving the money they saved for retirement if the company went bust. And Gordon Brown reduced the chances even further in 1997 by removing tax relief on pension dividends.

"The shocking truth is that both were fully aware of the potential impact that actions could have, they both carried on regardless and they both tried to hide what they had done.

"It is a bit rich of the Tories to start to criticise Gordon Brown's actions in 1997. But equally, Gordon Brown doesn't have a leg to stand on.

"ASW workers and others have been appallingly messed around by successive Tory and Labour Government's. The current settlement will still only give most ASW workers just 60% of their actual pension savings and the pay out rate is painfully slow.

"Pensions are more than just pots of money, they are people's futures. Gordon Brown and the Tories knowingly gambled with them and lost. The Government has moral duty now, to ensure that pensions justice for ASW workers and over 100,000 others is restored without delay."

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