Monday, October 18, 2010

Tax relief on pension to be reduced

Child benefit cuts and increases in university fees are going to hurt people who are going to struggle to afford it (I am really not happy with people taking on mortgage-sized loans before they have even started working, whether it's for a degree or for flying training). However, I think reducing tax relief on pensions is a good idea.

Paying into a pension currently represents one of the tidiest ways of evading - or at least, deferring - payment of tax for those people who fundamentally don't need the money to live on. In a fair number of cases, I would argue, people are making large payments (or getting employers to make large payments) into pension schemes because they simply don't need the money now. Forget the "people earning higher rate tax are extremely rich" thing: if you can afford for over £50,000 per year of what your employer is prepared to give you to go straight into a pension scheme - you know you are not going to need to spend it until you stop working! - then a) this is clearly money you don't need at the moment and b) your expectation of what you need from a pension in the future clearly has little to do with what you will need to live on when you are unable to work any more.

The fact that there has been none of the outcry over reduction of pension tax relief compared to what there was relating to child benefit and university fees is pretty suggestive of a silent "it's a fair cop" to me....

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