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Brown is driving us all batty

It may seem like a strange description to apply to Gordon Brown but he has been behaving like a coquettish debutante at her first ball over the 1 per cent cap.

The Treasury has always been reluctant to concede that between it and the then Department of Social Security it blundered at setting the cap at 1 per cent.

A good three years into the great 1 per cent experiment, the Government finds itself faced with a product providers&#39strike where they do not sell stakeholder pensions while others have restricted sales to bigger group schemes although even here the economics may not stack up.

Yet even in the week of the supposed decision, we are still wondering if the cap will rise.

Gordon is once again batting his eyelashes at the pension industry but will he actually dance with anyone?

You can ask the lobbyists and the various consultancies who have done work on the project and they will set out various structures for the stakeholder suite of products as recommended by Sandler.

More leeway on the front end or a move to 1.5 per cent AMC are mooted. But they have been mooted before. MM has carried stories about a rise in the cap about six or seven times.

Lately, we have presented those stories in terms of the optimism or pessimism by those close to the process and fought shy of attempting to divine what the Treasury is thinking.

In the past few days, the national newspapers have suggested that the cap may rise although there are mixed reports on its extent.

At time of writing this leader, Money Marketing does not know but we hope that it rises and that the Chancellor finally stops teasing us all.


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