Will next week be about Brown’s 1997 pensions raid?
Will this be Osborne’s eye-catching announcement?
A couple of weeks ago at an impromptu question and answer session in Bedford the Tory Chairman, Eric Pickles, let slip that there’d be a big announcement at their conference about pensions.
Since then I’ve been pondering over what this could be and the thought struck me that this will be Osborne’s 2009 big announcement.
For we have sort of got used to his Monday conference sessions and no doubt we all recall his game-changing inheritance tax plan proposal two years ago while early election speculation was still rife. This helped turn the political narrative on its head.
Given the context of the Pickles answer I think I know what it might be – the “raid” on the pension funds initiated by Brown in his first budget in 1997.
This has always been a contentious area for Brown and shortly before he became PM the Times won a Freedom of Information battle to get the advice that Brown had been given published. It wasn’t good.
There was even a suggestion that this was so explosive that it could undermine his leadership bid – for it’s said that the retire income of millions of people have been affected by what Brown did.
So what a natural for the politically savvy Osborne? Announce a change that brings what Brown did twelve years ago into play.
This will go down with those older voters who are most likely to vote.
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