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Osborne pledges to reverse Prime Minister’s pensions “tax raid”

Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has pledged to reverse the effects of Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s pensions tax raid.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today, Osborne said his ambition for a future Conservative Government was to create a saving society and said Brown’s raid on pensions had heralded the start of the age of irresponsibility.

Osborne said: “Gordon Brown’s disastrous tax raid on pensions heralded the start of the age of irresponsibility.

“So today I say we will reverse the effects of Gordon Brown’s pensions tax raid and get our country saving again.

“That saving will fund investment – investment in real business.”

Osborne also said he would stop paying means-tested tax credits to families with incomes over £50,000.

Child Trust Funds would only be paid to the poorest families because they are a “luxury we can no longer afford”.

He set out plans to raise the amount of the state pension and said this would be paid for by increasing the retirement age to 66 for men in 2016 and for women in 2020.

He pledged to restore the state pension link with earnings and said the new 50p tax band would not be a permanent feature of the tax system but that it was not a priority in the current economic climate.

Public sector pensions will be capped at an annual payout of £50,000.

Osborne also said he had a “tough message” for the bankers.

He said: “The support from the taxpayer when you needed it most was there to prop up your banks not your bank accounts. Don’t forget that. I hope the new international rules work. It is the best solution.

“But if we find the money that should be going into stronger bank balance sheets is being unreasonably diverted into bigger pay and bonuses – we reserve the right to take further action and that includes using the tax system.

“I have given you a fair warning. For I believe in the free market not a free ride.”

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