The great pensions rip-off

In this article, Mike attacks Tory and Lib-Dem plans to cut and means-test state pensions. These will result in more pensioners living in poverty, and increase the difference between state and private sector pensions. My guess is that’s part of the policy. Under Major state sector employees were given the opportunity to opt out into private pension schemes. As these were inferior to the state pension scheme, there was absolutely no point in doing so. Clearly the Coalition’s paymasters in the financial sector feel they’ve been deprived of a lucrative market through this and the current state pension scheme, and so are trying to make it is as unattractive as possible. The attack on pensions in general, and public sector pensions in particular, was particularly evident on both sides of the Atlantic two years ago. The American and Canadian Conservatives loudly denounced their pensioners for greedily refusing to allow their pensions to be cut despite the Republicans’ and Tories’ claimed need to reduce welfare spending. Over here, the Daily Mail duly obeyed Tory Central Office by launching an attack on public sector workers for the apparent generosity of their pension schemes. Of course, it never once admitted that the real reason everyone else’s pensions were so poor comparatively was due to the Conservatives and their Neo-Liberal allies doing their level best to destroy union membership and cut everyone’s wages, pension entitlements and make working conditions worse.

Mike Sivier's blog

We all know that pensioners have a charmed life under the current government – right? Pensions take up around half the £160 billion social security budget and there are other perks like the cold weather payment during the winter months, free bus passes and free TV licences – right?

They get a triple-lock inflation guarantee, under which the state pension rises according to the highest of CPI inflation, the rise in earnings or 2.5 per cent. They get Pension Credit (otherwise known as the Minimum Income Guarantee) to ensure they receive a weekly minimum of more than £140.

So no matter what happens to the rest of us, they’re in clover – right?

Not really.

Just taking those examples, Tory Liam Fox wants to cut the cold weather payment down to nothing, and the Liberal Democrat Vince Cable wants to means-test or tax pensions. The free TV licence will disappear…

View original post 701 more words

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