WORK AND PENSIONS – PENSION FUNDS – 15 April 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: If he will make a statement on trends in the value and expected yield of pension funds since 1997?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] I thank the Secretary of State for that Alice-in-Wonderland answer. On the eve of the Chancellor's sixth Budget statement, should we not remember what he did in his first Budget, which was to mount a £5 billion a year raid on pension funds? Is it not as a result of that that firm after firm is abandoning final salary pension schemes, with the effect that a stealth tax whose effect was meant to dawn in people's realisation many years hence is becoming obvious now? It is obvious that people's pensions will be worth a fraction of what they would have been worth without the Labour Government raiding their pension funds.