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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Those of you with reasonably long memories may recall the heady days of 1997 when Gordon Brown, the newly appointed Chancellor, performed his smash and grab raid on the British pension industry.

His sleight of hand, where he raided dividend tax credits, netted him a £5BN a year.

Whilst there were protests at the time, over the dangers that this posed to the pension industry, Brown did what he does best and ignored them

However, as the old saying goes:

"What goes around, comes around"

In the 10 years since Brown's smash and grab raid, the pensions industry in Britain has effectively fallen apart; helped on its way to an unseemly end, in no uncertain terms, by Brown's dividend credit heist.

Those of us, still lucky enough to have a defined benefit company pension are in a fortunate and ever dwindling group. Defined benefit schemes have been closed by many companies, as people have been asked to move to defined contribution schemes.

Those who work for the state, are still enjoying the benefits of the defined benefit scheme. Unfortunately, thanks to Brown, these have become increasingly expensive. The result being that council tax throughout Britain has been raised annually, in order to pay for these pensions.

It is somewhat ironic that only now, after a two year battle using the Freedom of Information Act, that it has come to light that Brown was warned by his advisers of the chaos and damage that his pension smash and grab raid would wreak upon the pensions industry in Britain.

Seemingly, Brown has been fighting to keep this information secret.

Why?

He stands accused of destroying the pension industry, at the very time he seeks to stand for leadership of the Labour Party.

As one cab driver eloquently put it to his Labour party passenger:

"You bastards stole my pension".

Brown will pay a heavy price for this action, he may win leadership of the party but he most assuredly will lose the leadership of the country.

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