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Labour manifesto pledges ‘to let the industry prosper’

Labour’s general election manifesto pledges to allow the financial services industry to prosper but has avoided any pension policy ommitments until after the autumn publication of the Turner report.

The manifesto sets out a series of policies which have been announced previously, including a commitment to continue the pension credit and legis- lation to protect the right to work up to the age of 65 through new anti-discrimination laws.

Labour promises to regulate only where necess- ary and has set targets to reduce the costs of administrating regulation.

It claims that the mer- ger of the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise will cut the costs of tax compliance for small businesses.

It also pledges to work with the financial services industry to address the problem of dormant bank accounts, establishing a common definition and record of unclaimed ass- ets with the aim of reuniting these assets with their owners over the period of next Parliament.

Prime Minister Tony Blair says: “Britain has some of the strongest cap- ital markets in the world. We are determined that they and our financial services industry should prosper.”

Capital Tower compliance and training manager Graham Clarke says: “We need politicians who understand the industry.

“This Government has no idea how financial services works. Leaving decisions to the Turner report is a typical response. People need an incentive to save, whether through compulsion or other means, but this manifesto does noth- ing positive.”

l Election analysis, p8; End FSA culture, p15


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Cricket - thumbnail

England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.


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