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Call for new help for victims of pension scheme closures

Sunday 22nd April 2007 (Andrew Griffiths)
Call for new help for victims of pension scheme closures

Call for new help for victims of pension scheme closures … and we’re all paying for price for Gordon Brown’s pensions tax.

Andrew Griffiths, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Burton and Uttoxeter today, added his support for demands for new help for the victims of company pension scheme closures in East Staffordshire.

Conservatives are calling a ‘Lifeboat Fund’ to be set up to top up the pension income of thousands of vulnerable people who have their lost pension savings from company pension schemes collapsing, and who now face an uncertain retirement. The bold proposals have been put forward to tackle the consequences of Gordon Brown’s 1997 stealth tax raid – which has robbed £100 billion from pension funds.

It is hugely disappointing that Burton MP Janet Dean voted to support Gordon Brown’s pension tax in a Commons debate on 17th April, rather than supporting proposals to help our local struggling pensioners.

In a further development, workers and pensioners face not only the prospect of smaller pensions thanks to the tax, but also soaring council tax bills. Since the town hall pension scheme is directly funded from councils’ stock market investments, council taxpayers foot the bill from reductions in pension fund values due to the pensions tax. Due to the pensions tax, demographics and rising town hall salaries, the total cost to council employers of town hall pensions has now soared from £1.2 billion a year in 1997 to £3.2 billion a year last year – equivalent to £177 a year per council tax-paying household in England and Wales.

Andrew said:

“Gordon Brown has destroyed our pensions system, which was one of the best in the world. He robbed today’s and tomorrow’s pensioners of security in retirement through his £100 billion stealth tax raid and then tried to cover up that fact.

Today’s pensioners are suffering from soaring council tax, rocketing utility bills and more means-testing. Meanwhile, tomorrow’s pensioners are facing plummeting pensions returns and the closure of company and final salary pension schemes.

Andrew added:

“We’re all paying the price. Gordon Brown’s pensions tax has forced up council tax bills – with councillors taking the flak. Council tax payers are now paying the equivalent of £177 a year just to bankroll town hall pensions. It’s time for a fairer deal for (area)’s pensioners and the pensioners of tomorrow.”

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