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Axing higher rate relief “short-sighted”, warns ABI

The Association of British Insurers has warned the Government that scrapping higher rate tax relief on pensions would be “entirely wrong and short-sighted”.

Director general Stephen Haddrill has weighed into the debate after newspaper reports claimed that Prime Minister Gordon Brown had hinted of the move at a recent industry meeting in Scotland.

Haddrill says: “The ABI is seeking urgent reassurance from the Government about the very worrying speculation that it may be considering scrapping higher rate tax relief on pension savings in this week’s Budget.

“This would be an entirely wrong and short-sighted response to the huge challenges facing the Government, and a direct attack on the hard-working people of middle Britain, who are saving sensibly for their retirement.

“Half of the UK’s workforce are not saving enough for a comfortable retirement already. We need more people to save, not to punish those who are already doing so.”

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