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Investigation launched amid pension pot sale claims

An investigation has been launched into claims that the details of millions of people's pension pots have been sold to fraudsters and cold-calling firms.

Pensioners' salaries, the value of the investments and the size of their pensions are being sold for as little as 5p without their consent, the Daily Mail reported.

Steve Eckersley, the head of enforcement at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the privacy watchdog, described the claims as "very worrying" and announced an immediate investigation.

The Daily Mail claimed one of its undercover reporters were sold pension pot details for 15,000 people without any checks being made on who they were and what they wanted the data for.

"The worst case scenario here is this information getting into the wrong hands and being used to target individuals at a critical point in their financial lives," Eckersley said.

The claims come just a week before reforms giving Britons the chance to access their full retirement pots come into force.


Osborne: 'We still need to make difficult decisions'

Chancellor George has said that "difficult decisions" still need to be made to ensure Britain's economy becomes more balanced.

Osborne: 'We still need to make difficult decisions'. Credit: PA

"We still have to make decisions because we are still running a five per cent budget deficit," he told the Andrew Marr show.

Asked about deep cuts in the next Parliament, he said: "Our argument is that we have to run a surplus in the good years. You have to mend the roof in the sun. You cant have great public services unless you have a strong economy. We have set out five years of plans, and we have two more years after that."

On the suggestion of a deal with Ukip, he said: "It is total nonsense. Voting for Nigel Farage makes Ed Miliband a likely Prime Minister.

"Nigel Farage is not going to win seats in the House of Commons."

Osborne: Budget will not contain pre-election 'gimmicks'

Chancellor George Osborne said the Budget will contain long-term economic measures. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne has said next week's Budget will not contain pre-election 'gimmicks' even though British voters will go to the polls in less than two months.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday (£), the Chancellor admitted the "job is far from finished" and said he will use his last Budget statement of this Parliament to outline long-term measures that would "deliver a truly national recovery".

Mr Osborne said government plans include investment in tech start-ups, the chemical sector and ultrafast broadband and a promise to build 45,000 new homes on brownfield sites.

He wrote: "I said in 2010 we are all in it together - and I meant it. So this week my Budget will set out measures to make sure we keep delivering a truly national recovery. We mustn't go back to the bad old days of just relying on the City of London for growth.

"In this Budget we will take further steps to invest in and grow all parts and industries of the UK.

"So, my Budget will not be a Budget of pre-election gimmicks or giveaways. It will be a Budget for the long term."

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