View more on these topics

O’Brien bites back at Tory ‘attack dog’

Pensions Minister Mike O’Brien has hit back at Tory Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Chris Grayling, calling him Cameron’s “attack dog” after Grayling accused the Labour Party of pensions robbery.

The Conservatives claim the Chancellor’s move to bring forward his plan to change S2P to a flat rate in 2009 could amount to a £2bn raid on pensions.

But in an interview with Money Marketing, O’Brien said Grayling’s deputy Nigel Waterson agreed to the policy and that Grayling’s predecessor, Philip Hammond, also signed up to the policy.

O’Brien said: “Chris has sort of been identified as the Cameron attack dog and he just basically can’t stop himself from attacking. Chris is a much more abrasive character than Philip Hammond but has he got the maturity to recognise the importance of consensus on this issue? I think you are better off asking him whether he has that maturity. He tends to want to attack almost for the sake of attacking.”

O’Brien also accused Grayling of not knowing what his own party’s policy is and said it remains to be seen whether Grayling is set on demolishing the consensus around pers-onal accounts.

O’Brien said: “He can do it if he wants to. That is going to be a decision for him and his maturity and whether he puts opportunism before long-term constructive political consensus.”

Grayling says: “After the damage that Gordon Brown has done to our pensions system in the past 10 years, it beggars belief that his Government would bury another multi-billion-pound tax raid on pensions in the small print of its pre-Budget report. This is nothing less than a new stealth tax on retirement, and will mean a pay cut for large numbers of pensioners at a time when they are already under financial pressure from big increases in their cost of living. The Government obviously thinks it can bury the bad news and get away without people noticing. It won’t succeed.”

Recommended

Tories confident of CGT U-turn

The Conservatives believe there is a good chance the Government will perform a U-turn over its proposals to reform capital gains tax.Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says the Tories will be campaigning hard for the Government to change its mind over the controversial plans due to the huge damage the reforms would do to the British […]

Dynamic return

Keydata has produced yet another winner. Its dynamic growth plan issue 20 is even more attractive than its other issues in the present market climate.

Big firms lose focus on returns

Having a culture driven around your investment is the key to having a strong boutique offering, according to Thames River Capital investment director Michael Warren.He said that many larger investment houses tended to lose sight of this. He had worked at companies where the admin department was bigger than the investment department. This meant that […]

CAB to close final-salary scheme

The Citizens Advice Bureau is to close its final-salary pension scheme for both current and future employees after its deficit doubled in three years. Trade union Unite said the proposed replacement money-purchase scheme would not provide a guaranteed pension for staff when they retire.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment