City: Sitting duck

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THE pensions industry seems to believe it has already persuaded the Chancellor against further reductions in tax credits on dividends in the forthcoming Budget. Companies terrified of having to find huge quantities of extra money to top up their pension schemes if the Chancellor takes the opposite course are not so sure and many are planning a forceful lobby of ministers at this week's Conservative Party conference.

For the Treasury, a further reduction of tax credits on dividends represents a lot of money for very little popular controversy - a very tempting prospect indeed. One industrialist told me: 'If you've already sold off the family silver, where next do you turn for money? Like Robert Maxwell, you raid the pensions of course.' Quite so.

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