WORK AND PENSIONS – PENSION YIELDS – 13 January 2003

Dr Julian Lewis: What his estimate is of trends in average pension yields over the next decade?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] It is surprising – is it not? – that one can have an answer to a question like that without any mention of the £5 billion a year taken from pension funds by the Government since they abolished the tax credit on dividends in 1997. The Under-Secretary [Maria Eagle] was waxing eloquent about the iniquity of firms in closing final salary schemes, but will she accept that the Government's pensions raid has a little to do with those firms doing what they have done? They could have absorbed it, they should have absorbed it, but if the Government had not taken that action, the problem might not have arisen.