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George Osborne has press released five questions that Gordon Brown must answer regarding his 1997 decision to abolish dividend tax relief on pensions:

  1. "In 1997, why did he not clearly state the risk he was taking by abolishing dividend tax relief on pensions, in spite of the warning it would cost pension funds £75bn?
  2. Estimates for the damage done to pension funds put the final cost at around £100bn. What is his estimate?
  3. Did the Chancellor overrule opposition from the Prime Minister’s office to force through his decision, as the Prime Minister’s then Economic Adviser Derek Scott has implied when he told the Telegraph “he (Blair) took the view not to go up against Gordon”?
  4. Can he explain why today he described the move as “the right decision for investment” when his own officials said at the time “the view of the economists is that overall the reform would be broadly neutral in terms of the amount of investment.”
  5. Why did the Treasury refuse to release the pension tax documents for almost two years and, when this position became untenable, finally release them late on a Friday afternoon, just before Parliamentary recess and just as the Chancellor was leaving the country?"

44 comments for: George Osborne piles the pressure on Gordon Brown over pensions

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