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Tories predict major election battle on pensions

The Conservatives have signalled that pensions will be a big battleground in the next general election, declaring the issue Gordon Brown’s “worst legacy”.

In a speech to delegates at the Conservative party conference in Blackpool, David Cameron said Brown had overseen the destruction of the UK’s pension system and declared: “We will not let him forget it.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Chris Grayling also attacked the Government’s record on pensions and used his conference address to focus on the plight of the 125,000 who lost out when their occupational schemes collapsed.

Grayling says battling for these victims will be his number one priority despite concern from many in the industry that Conservative plans for a lifeboat funded by unclaimed assets is the wrong way to address the problem.

Grayling told delegates: “”We have a battle to fight and a battle to win for all the pensioners who have lost out under Gordon Brown.

“He still denies there is anything wrong with our pension system but I tell you, his fingerprints are all over the scene of the crime. What he has done to our pension system is nothing short of criminal.”

In an interview with Money Marketing, Grayling hardened the party’s line against the proposed personal accounts scheme due to concerns about its interaction with means-testing.

Grayling said a Conservative Government would do some “rapid sorting out” to personal accounts although, when pressed, he said he did not currently have solutions. He said it was up to the Government, with all its resources, to come up with answers to stop means-testing undermining the scheme.

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