Proper regulation must accompany plans for the resale of annuities so people do not fall victim to “rip-off merchants”, the leader of the opposition has warned.
Ed Miliband said that while the Labour party backed flexibility for consumers, the measures announced in George Osborne’s Budget brought fresh risks.
Mr Miliband said: “We do want people to have more flexibility, including on annuities.
“It is incredibly important that advice happens quickly because we have got rip-off merchans ready to pounce.
“We know it has happened before - it happened in the 1980s, with a dreadful misselling scandal. The Chancellor needs to get proper regulation in place on these issues.”
The Labour leader, who was the butt of several jibes during the chancellor’s speech, also claimed that the chancellor was secretly planning significant spending cuts for the next parliament.
Mr Miliband said: “His plans are for at least as many cuts in the next parliament as in this one, and the pace of it in the next few years is actually faster than the pace of the cuts in the past few years.
“He came along today to try to suggest that the pain was over but if they get back, their failure on the deficit means they are planning massive cuts.”
The opposition leader warned that this would involve significant cuts to the NHS, calling this “The secret plan that dare not speak its name.”