UK's Os­borne, eyes on Brexit vote, drops pen­sions re­form plan

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Bri­tish fi­nance min­is­ter Ge­orge Os­borne has dropped plans for a pen­sions over­haul which had run into op­po­si­tion in his Con­ser­va­tive Party, al­ready split over the coun­try's Euro­pean Union mem­ber­ship ref­er­en­dum, me­dia re­ports said.

The de­ci­sion also re­flected Os­borne's am­bi­tions to suc­ceed Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, some re­ports said. Os­borne, who is due to make his an­nual bud­get state­ment on March 16, has been con­sid­er­ing re­forms of the pen­sion sys­tem which could raise rev­enues for his push to turn Bri­tain's bud­get deficit into a sur­plus by the end of the decade.

Re­form op­tions in­cluded in­tro­duc­ing a flat rate of tax re­lief on pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions, which would hit wealth­ier savers, or the more rad­i­cal idea of tax­ing pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions and end­ing the tax-free lump sums that pen­sion­ers en­joy now. "Ge­orge has al­ways been clear he wouldn't do any­thing to dam­age sav­ing," a per­son iden­ti­fied as an ally of Os­borne was quoted as say­ing in news­pa­pers.

The com­bi­na­tion of un­cer­tainty about the global econ­omy and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of other pen­sion re­forms meant it was not the right time to make fur­ther changes, the per­son said, adding: "There won't be any changes to tax re­lief at all in the bud­get." A fi­nance min­istry spokesman said he was un­able to com­ment on the re­ports. Os­borne was forced into a ma­jor pol­icy U-turn last year when he an­nounced plans to cut tax cred­its for low-earn­ing house­holds but dropped them af­ter they were op­posed by law­mak­ers across the political spec­trum and re­jected by par­lia­ment's up­per house.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.