Tuesday, 3 April 2007

A bit of balance

There's some more sober commentary on the impact of taxing pension funds' dividend income around today. Nils Pratley's piece in the Grauniad comes seems pretty even-handed to me. Also the NAPF has put out a sensible statement. Nice to see the lobby group for employers running pension funds not take the opportunity to blame eveything on the Government. They really do seem to be trying to change their approach. Here's an excerpt:

The removal of the tax credit in 1997 was very unhelpful. But it was only one of several reasons why workplace pensions have come under pressure in recent years. Some of these pressures were beyond anyone’s control, such as increasing longevity and the fall in equity markets. But others were man made, such as the introduction of new accounting rules (FRS17) and the decision by successive Government’s to increase pensions regulation.

Just as an aside does anyone think that such a hard landing in the equity markets was avoidable? Given that many fund managers were privately sceptical about the value of the TMT stocks they felt compelled (because of the need to generate competitive relative returns) to shovel clients' money into, isn't there an argument that if they had played the arbitrage role efficient markets theory suggests they should that the bubble could have been deflated less dramatically?


John Gray said...

Good stuff Tom, it is clear that the Tory attack dogs have identified him as the enemy and are continuing their campaign of vilification against Brown - “political autism”, “Stalinist” and now “pension theft”. Still, all this stuff will be helping to win support within Labour for him (despite his recent silly remarks about public sector pay!)

Tom P said...

cheers John. I think this has done quite a bit of damage unfortuantely. it's not like the Tories have a good record here either.