Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has fought hard to avoid having to reveal internal Treasury forecasts of what the long-term effect on pension funds would be of his 1997 decision, soon after Labour came to power, to remove tax credit on share dividends. Now the deputy information commissioner Graham Smith has upheld a complaint about the Treasury's refusal to release the documents, saying that the 'Treasury's concerns are outweighed by the need for transparency in the decision making process'. The Treasury has until 6 July to release the information or to lodge an appeal. It is a foregone conclusion what the Treasury will do, in my opinion - delaying tactics will continue until Brown is safely ensconced at No. 10.
Private pensions were generally extremely well-funded in the UK up until 1997, but this one change in the tax treatment of dividends affecting pension funds started the downward spiral which has resulted in the closure to new entrants, or collapse, of so many pension schemes. It is long past time that the myth of Gordon Brown having run a well-managed economy since 1997 be exposed for the lie that it is; there are many of his policies that do not bear much scrutiny.