Chancellor Gordon Brown is unrepentant about his decision to ditch a tax break despite warnings it could wipe billions of pounds from pension funds.
In his first public comment on the row surrounding the controversial 1997 measure, the Chancellor argued that it had been “the right decision for the future of the economy”.
Documents released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, after a two-year battle, showed the policy was pursued despite official advice it would hit pension funds.
They indicated that he was advised the abolition could leave a “big hole” in pension funds, wiping out up to £75 billion of assets and reducing pension benefits for future generations.
Critics hold the decision at least partly to blame for the closure of many final salary pension schemes in recent years which have left retiring workers severely out of pocket.