Thinking hard what to do next Thursday. If things come through, methinks they need to be presented and two have come through today which might help you to decide, if undecided:
Another, Liz Patterson, said: “I feel robbed of my pension money as the reason I put in for over 40 years was so I had something in my old age. Sixty this year and not informed the SPA had changed in 1995.
“No chance to do anything about it now. Another six years of working and to add insult to injury, also have to continue paying NI contributions on my earnings when people before me stopped doing this when they hit 60.
“So feel very unfair, unjust, penalised because I was born in the 50’s and have paid over and above my fair share of NI contributions.
“Am I going to get anything extra for paying another 10 years worth of NI contributions before I can now claim my pension. No, nothing extra. So where is the fairness when the goalposts are moved without even telling you or giving you a chance to do something about it. Yes, I do feel robbed and will continue to feel this for the next 6 years.”
Not only having been hit by various pension changes over the years those affected have also criticised the way they have been implemented, often without informing those affected or only telling them at the last minute leaving them unable to make financial arrangements.
Now Dearieme tore strips off me the other day for daring to suggest BT were not going to honour agreements but that above still stands.
2. Some breakdowns, by Nigel Sedgwick, longtime occasional commenter here:
Concerning the UK economy and government spending, here are (IMHO) some useful graphs.
First we have Total Government Spending annually since 1950. This is expressed as pounds per capita index linked to 2005. This is a better view/normalisation than percentage GDP when there has been lots of variation in GDP (because of recessions and booms) as well as changes in government policy. Note the fascinating up-kicks in gradient from 1998 (Blair became PM in 1997) and even more up-kick from 2009 (Brown became PM in 2008). The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition (from 2010) and Conservative government (from 2015) have done next to zilch to cut back on the massive expenditure increases.
Now look at Health Care. Expenditure per capita (inflation adjusted) has more than doubled since 1997, with big up-kicks from 1998 and 2009. Now, I know health care is important to us all, but has NHS performance more than doubled over the period from 1997? Have we had value for money?
The second detailed area is Education. Here we see some cutback since 2012, but it is still over 50% higher than at the start of the Blair government in 1997. And just look at that sharp peak between 2009 and 2012 – a 13.5% increase in 2009 (over 2008) by PM Brown in just 1 year. Again we should ask: (i) has education improved to be 50% better over the period in which inflation indexed and per capita costs have increased by 50%? and (ii) what did the 13.5% increase in 2009 give that was worth the money?
Lastly here today, we have Pensions. There may be a bit of demographic age changes to deal with, from improved life expectancy, post WW2 baby boom, etc – but what did actually happen around 1993, 1998 and 2009. Oh, it’s Blair and Brown again – this time assisted by Conservative PM Major in 1993. State pension costs in 2017 are 114% higher that 1997 and 226% higher than 1992 (all figures after indexing for inflation and for total population). Even though it might cost me personally as an upcoming state pensioner, I struggle to see any real unfairness to me in PM May’s suggested modest cutbacks; this is especially if they are means tested so the worst off do not suffer.
AND don’t forget – all that money not blown through over-generous increases in health, education and pension expenditure (which must have a load of XXX not to the benefit of the general population who pay for them) does not disappear – it is there for other government expenditure (perhaps better thought out) or it remains in the pockets of the taxpayers for their own use.
PM May and her authoritarian Conservative colleagues are definitely far from the best offering from Westminster in my lifetime – but there is no choice in this election – unless you want even more barmy expenditure and other pointless socialist/communist folly.