CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

BUSINESS QUESTION – TAX RELIEF & PENSIONS – 24 October 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: May we have a statement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the widely trailed suggestion that the Government are proposing to abolish the higher rate tax relief on pensions, which is over and above the annual £4 billion to £5 billion raid on pensions that has been under way for several years? We have heard much in recent days about the way in which the Government have failed young people – school students – at the start of their careers. Perhaps we need to hear more about what they are doing to pensioners at the end of their careers.

[Robin Cook: It is always good to end on the last question asked by the Opposition by trying to make an hon. Member happy, and I think I can relieve the hon. Gentleman of his anxieties. Treasury Ministers have made no decision on, and are not even considering such a proposal. The hon. Gentleman should not believe all he reads in the Conservative newspapers.]