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Blair and Hague in pre-budget pension clash

Pension funds shot to the top of the political agenda when Gordon Brown&#39s budget speech was preceded by a heated clash between Tory leader William Hague and Prime Minister Tony Blair over taxation of pension funds.

Hague said pension funds had been plundered of £17.4bn over the last four years and pledged to refund dividend tax credits to 630,000 pension policy holders who had lost them if elected.

Hague said: “The Government has raided pension funds to a greater extent than Robert Maxwell ever did.”

Arguing that the stockmarket had risen, Blair said: “The key point is whether the value of pension funds has actually risen over the time we have been in government.”

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