DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Yet again Labour eyes up private pensions

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Yet again Labour eyes up private pensions

June 2, 2023

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Yet again Labour eyes up private pensions

One of Gordon Brown’s first acts on becoming chancellor in 1997 was to plunder private pension funds via a crippling £5.6billion a year tax raid.

The effect was to kill off final salary schemes outside the public sector and sow huge instability from which the system has not fully recovered.

Now, it seems Labour is planning to target pension funds again – this time by potentially forcing them to transfer 5 per cent of their capital (estimated at £50billion) into a ‘growth fund’.

The idea is that this fund would invest more heavily in higher-risk, fast-growing UK companies rather than more stable assets, such as gilts.

But do most pension savers want more risks to be taken with their money? And who would administer this fund and dictate where its money would go?

If Labour wins the next election, Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) would stop drilling for oil and gas in the North Sea and end non-dom status 

The head of Schroders, one of the City’s biggest asset managers, warns that such state interference in private pensions could have dire effects.

But based on past record, Labour will find the temptation impossible to resist.

Indeed, as Sir Keir Starmer’s policy platform begins to emerge from the fog of obfuscation, it’s becoming clear it will be far more Left-wing than he will admit.

Proposals for a self-defeating North Sea drilling ban have raised cheers from the eco-zealots of Just Stop Oil (funded by major Labour donor Dale Vince).

There are plans for councils to compulsorily purchase private land at knock-down prices, and punitive tax raids on independent schools, which would force many out of business.

Sir Keir would drive wealthy foreign individuals out of Britain by ending ‘non-dom’ status and there are strong rumours of planned increases in inheritance and capital gains taxes. It is an interventionist agenda fuelled by the politics of envy.

Traditional Tory voters are understandably angry for the chaos of recent times and may be tempted to give their party a bloody nose at the next election.

Before doing so they should look very carefully at the alternative. Jeremy Corbyn may have been banished but his statist, class-warrior spirit is still very much alive in today’s Labour Party.

Good day for freedom

Professor Kathleen Stock (pictured) faced opposition from trans activists while speaking at the Oxford University Union

It is central to the notion of a liberal democracy that minority views and beliefs must be staunchly defended. Freedom of expression, association and worship are for the few, not just the many.

In today’s topsy-turvy Britain, however, it is the rights and opinions of the majority that are too frequently drowned out by shrill minorities.

At Oxford University, once a bubbling cauldron of ideas and passionate debate, some 200 trans activists tried yesterday to prevent feminist academic Dr Kathleen Stock from speaking at the Union.

Her offence, in the eyes of this Orwellian herd, is to believe a biological man can never truly become a woman – whether by self-declaration, hormone treatment or surgery. Is this such a dangerous view that students must be protected from it? Of course not. Indeed, it is one surely shared by the majority of the population.

Fortunately free speech won the day. The demonstrators shouted their facile slogans and one glued themselves to the floor. But after a brief delay the debate went ahead as planned. Could it be that the tide of woke intolerance is turning?

The Government wants to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing. The courts have ruled that the scheme is perfectly lawful. 

Yet Home Office staff threaten to strike rather than implement it. They, like so much of the Whitehall Blob, need reminding they are paid to carry out government policy. If they want to dictate it, they should stand for election.

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