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&#39Red tape damaging savings&#39

New Labour red tape must share the blame for plunging stockmarkets and the resulting damage to savings and pensions, according to Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard.

In his speech at the Conservative party conference in Bournemouth last week, Howard criticised the 4,642 company regulations introduced by the Government last year, saying they must be partly responsible for the plight of those saving for retirement.

He attacked Chancellor Gordon Brown for not mentioning in his speech at Labour&#39s conference the previous week the fact that, as a nation, the UK is putting aside less money than it has ever saved in history.

He pointed out that, since Labour came to power, the Dow Jones has outperformed the FTSE by more than 20 per cent.

Howard said he and fellow frontbencher Tim Yeo will establish a regulation committee in the coming weeks to look at what areas of red tape the next Conservative Government would work to scrap.

This is similar to a pledge made two years ago by then Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary David Heathcoat-Amory that a Tory Government would establish a similar body to cut back regulation on business.

Howard said: “We know from our own experience, and that of our families and friends, the plight of those who thought they had saved to provide for their retirement. Now they find the value of those savings has crashed, the value of annuities they can buy has plummeted and daily they read newspaper reports of the possible demise of the companies in whose care they have placed their savings.”

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