UK - Opposition MPs have attacked the government for "rigging" the criteria used for the National Audit Office's analysis of the savings cap.
Conservative work and pensions spokesman David Willetts said the chancellor only got the answer he wanted by changing the question asked.
He said: “I am not surprised that Gordon Brown’s low estimate of the number of people to be penalised by the £1.4m cap received modest support from the NAO – he changed the question.
“By using the 20:1 factor for valuing benefits against the lifetime allowance instead of a more variable figure, he was always going to be able to reduce the number of people affected.”
Willetts added: “The challenge is not to limit the amount people can put into their pension schemes but to encourage people to put more money in. That is why we are proposing to scrap the £1.4m limit on the strict condition that the same benefits in a pension scheme are available to the lowest paid as to the highest paid.”
Liberal Democrat pensions spokesman Lord Oakeshott said there needed to be a broader study on the numbers affected. He said: “Even on Gordon Brown’s own rigged and narrowly defined question, twice as many people are affected as the Treasury initially said.
“A look at the total number of people affected in the next few years shows the truer picture.”
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