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Brown letter undermines Turner proposals

Chancellor Gordon Brown has written to the Pensions Commission suggesting the current linking of pension credit to earnings may end in 2008, according to newspaper reports.
The move implies the Government policy aimed at helping the poorest pensioners may then be linked to prices, devaluing it in real terms.
It is thought the letter, sent last Thursday, was timed to undermine Lord Turner’s leaked proposals to bring in a more generous basic state pension- making it look more costly against Brown’s plan.
Brown, who has already received a copy of the report, is also thought to oppose the raising of the state pension age to 67 and linking the basic state pension to earnings.
LibDem Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary David Laws says: Gordon Brown is clearly trying to strangle the Turner Report on pensions, even before its birth. His intervention today is outrageous, and it would be a tragedy if he is allowed to wreck the emerging consensus on pensions policy.
Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says: To sabotage the Turner report in this way is disgraceful. Why has the Government promised a serious ‘grown up’ debate on the future of pension provision only for the Chancellor to throw his toys out of the pram in this way?
It is extraordinarily arrogant of Gordon Brown to try to shut down the much needed public debate on a crisis of his own making before it’s begun. I would be very interested to know what Tony Blair thinks of Gordon Brown pulling the rug from under a report the Prime Minister commissioned.


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