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Attack on PTA is not treating clients fairly

I cannot believe the Chancellor has yet again shown such unethical and unprincipled behaviour in his autumn statement. He has put a huge question mark over pension term assurance, just when many people were taking out this cost-effective method of safeguarding their families in the event of death.

These members of the public were making a sensible decision to organise such cover rather than relying on the state. Is this not what the Chancellor wanted people to do? Obviously not, given the blow he has just dealt this type of financial planning.

This is not the first time that Gordon Brown has acted in this disreputable and dishonourable way. For example, there was the self-invested personal pension fiasco regarding property, the lack of prior consultation over the recent inheritance tax changes in the 2006 Finance Act and now this mean, spiteful and punitive action which leaves no doubt thousands of clients and advisers not knowing what to do until well after the 2007 Budget.

If the FSA is independent from Government, it should make a formal complaint to the Chancellor about this form of political about-face and the implications of acting in this way, as it makes it impossible to plan for the future of our clients.

If we are required to treat clients fairly, it is about time the principle was taken on board by those who legislate on our behalf. Currently, it appears evident that they do not know the meaning of the term treating customers fairly.

This is an absolute disgrace and the Government and Chancellor should be ashamed of themselves.

David P BArnett

Principal, DPB Independent Financial Services, Edgware, Middlesex

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