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John McTernan: Why Labour must oppose Budget pensions disaster

McTernan

Without consultation, the entire structure of the British pension settlement was torn up by the Chancellor. We saw the death of the pensions settlement. It was not perfect but it should have been built on and not blown up. Labour should oppose this disaster in every way. It is what I have advised them to do and will continue to do so.

They should not accept it, they should oppose it in the House and commit to changing it when they come in. 

It is the death of private pensions, it is the death of occupational pensions in the medium term and the death of pensions in their totality. There is no justification for the preferential tax treatment of savings into pensions that can be accessed with the ease with which the Government is suggesting.

All pension reform should be done through consultation and be bipartisan. This was a tacky, showy, politically partisan little trick in the Budget and if it is ever implemented it will unravel. As far as I understand, the Labour position it is pretty straightforward: they thought there were problems with annuities but did not think the whole system had to be blown up, just reformed. 

What has been killing returns on annuities is quantitative easing so the villain is the Bank of England. QE was required because the Government drove the country into a deeper and longer recession than was required so in the end it comes back to George Osborne.

John McTernan is the former political secretary to Tony Blair

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Deeper recession caused by George Osborne?? Nothing to do with previous new Labour policy then? No points for guessing John’s political allegiance…….

  2. “former political secretary to Tony Blair”

    Ah, that explains the obsession with death – the appearance of the word “kill” or “death” or “blow up” three times in every single paragraph.

    Nothing more to be said really.

  3. Because yet more change is exactly what the doctor ordered…

    So just as people begin to engage with pensions again because of the new proposals, John proposes the rules are reversed if we have a Labour Government next year? That will do wonders for confidence in pensions and really help the nation address our massive retirement savings shortfall.

  4. I agree with all three comments……..typical Labour sour grapes and nonsense heightened by the fact of his involvement with Tony Blair……..save us from incompetence and ill informed changes that they would visit on the pensions industry and set it back two or three decades!

  5. Well said John
    After 45 years in the business it’s simply amazing that there are still goons commenting on pensions.
    Cheers to all and make sure they don’t get in

  6. I’ve checked and was astonished to discover that today is not the 1st April. Come on Money Marketing stop trying to confuse me 🙂

  7. “There is no justification for the preferential tax treatment of savings into pensions that can be accessed with the ease with which the Government is suggesting.”

    I beg to differ. In the ideal, post autoenrolment, world you start saving into your pension at 21 and can’t access it until you are 55, soon to be 57. There’s your justification right there.

    I have never voted Conservative in my life but the Labour party is doing a good job of showing me why i should.

    No u-turn on pensions please!

  8. “the death of pensions in their totality” he he he

    “There is no justification for the preferential tax treatment of savings into pensions that can be accessed with the ease with which the Government is suggesting” ha ha ha

    “All pension reform should be done through consultation and be bipartisan” ho ho ho

    “What has been killing returns on annuities is quantitative easing so the villain is the Bank of England” te he he

    “QE was required because the Government drove the country into a deeper and longer recession than was required so in the end it comes back to George Osborne” oh, ho ho. That one’s really got me.

    What’s your next joke Mr McTernan?

    Actually, coming to think of it, this article isn’t funny at all. It is actually very scary that someone who believes this to be true is giving “advice” to our politicians. Very scary.

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