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Responding to news stories that the Government intends to reduce Pension Tax Relief, David Sinclair, Head of Policy and Research at the International Longevity Centre – UK, said:

“On the surface, proposals to curb tax relief on pensions for the richest in society seem fair. Over half of pension tax relief goes to higher rate taxpayers and a quarter goes to just 1% of the population with the highest income.

It would however be extremely dangerous if this money was taken completely out of the pension system. If we are to reduce pensioner poverty, we must better incentivise people to save and reduce the reliance on means tested support. The Government should invest savings into a developing decent universal basic state pension. If Government doesn’t invest in encouraging young people to save today, they will inevitably be paying more to pick up the tab for pensioner poverty in the future”

ILC-UK yesterday published a report, commissioned by poverty charity, Elizabeth Finn Care, which found that nearly two-thirds of people (65%) think that job creation should take precedence over reducing government debt. The report urged the Government to consider intergenerational fairness as it makes its decisions about spending cuts over the next week. The full results of the survey are available here.

The nationally representative telephone survey of 1000 UK adults aged 16+ was conducted between 1st and 3rd October 2010 by GfK.

Intergenerational Fairness and the Spending Review 2010 was published on Wednesday 13th October 2010 by the International Longevity Centre-UK, with the support of Elizabeth Finn Care. It analyses the potential impact of the spending review in the context of intergenerational fairness and sets there challenges for the Government ahead of the announcements on 20th October.

The three principles for maintaining intergenerational fairness set out in the report are:

  1. The Spending Review should impact fairly across different generations.
  2. The Spending Review should not exacerbate the causes of poverty in later life.
  3. The Spending Review should not undermine the drivers of increased longevity.

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