Martina Devlin: Nobbling our pensions is only going to store up trouble for future
School's out, but the School of Hard Knocks continues to offer life lessons. Here's the tutorial for August, boys and girls: only dunces try to solve current difficulties by creating future ones.
Problem: the tourism sector is suffering. Solution: lower VAT rates to stimulate business. Problem: that would mean less revenue for the Exchequer. Solution: force someone else pay.
So the Government hit on the wheeze of raiding pension funds to offset its VAT reduction. Michael Noonan introduced a 0.6pc levy on private pensions to compensate for the shortfall.