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Tories plan to raise tax relief to defuse pension timebomb

The Tories have unveiled plans to increase tax relief on pension contributions as part of their commitment to tackle the “pension timebomb”.

Under the proposals, basic-rate taxpayers would have their tax relief raised by 10p in the pound to 32p, adding 10 to every 100 saved towards a personal pension.

The Tories expect that around 10 million people would benefit from the rise, which would cost 1.7bn of the 4bn they have pledged in tax cuts. The scheme would come into effect from April 2006 and Tories say the relief across a working lifetime could boost a pension by up to 500 a year in retirement.

Tory leader Michael How-ard says: “Only by encour-aging more people to save can we ease anxieties and give our economy a brighter, better future.”

Other proposals include encouraging firms to promote pension schemes and using unclaimed bank assets to replenish failed pension funds.

Scottish Equitable pension development director Stewart Ritchie says: “The proposals are a step in the right direction and targeted at the battle- ground of middle-earners.”


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