Wonderful to see Gordon Brown hoving in to view like a lumbering, rusty old Dreadnought. He warns us of the impending pensions crisis should we have the temerity, the rashness, to vote Yes on September 18th in his best Private Frazer voice: “We’rrre dooomed, I tell ye!”
The Mail (!) tells it like it is:
The devastating impact of Labour’s infamous raid on pensions can be laid bare today.
Official figures reveal that the tax grab has saved the Treasury – and cost workers – £118billion since 1997.
In one of his first decisions as chancellor, Gordon Brown scrapped tax relief on pension firms’ dividends.
The move is blamed for wrecking a once thriving industry and fuelling the closure of many final salary schemes.
Analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility shows it has saved the Treasury almost £7billion a year – £2billion more than Mr Brown had expected.
The annual gain is expected to top £9.7billion this year with £117.9billion saved between 1997 and 2014.
The OBR quietly published the figures on its website this week.
Ros Altmann, a former Downing Street pension adviser, said Labour’s move marked ‘the beginning of the end of the gold standard pension that British workers could rely on from their boss’.
She added: ‘This is money that has come out of people’s pensions. It paved the way for the end of final salary schemes because it made them so much more expensive. They were suddenly unaffordable.’
Since 1997, the number of private sector workers with a defined benefit pension has collapsed from 5million to 1.7million.
In 1997, 34 per cent of staff at private sector firms were in a final salary – or defined benefit – scheme. By 2012, this had slumped to just 8 per cent – just one in 12.”
Next week Better Together get King Herod to warn about child-care costs in an independent Scotland.