Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “pensions”

What Do They Expect?

Figures just out report unemployment has risen to the end of November by 49,000 to 2.5million. The number of 16-24 year olds out of work is at the highest level since records began. These figures are just the beginning with the effects of the VAT rise and public sector redundancies yet to come to fruition along with reductions in benefits and pensions.

The current bunch of boys playing at government with their half baked, half thought out ideas appear at first glance to just be idiots but I’m beginning to wonder. The Torys have always liked to have high unemployment as it tends to keep wages at low levels thus creating more wealth for their business compatriots. Changes planned for the Health Service will eventually cost far more than the suggested £3bn but will virtually privatise the NHS with vast profits going to you know who. Education will be similar.

Of course, paying off the necessary debt that the country has, at such a reckless rate will undoubtedly mean that come the next election, in about four years time, there will be quite a bit of cash sloshing around in the nation’s coffers so that ‘the boys’ will feel happy to bribe the electorate with gifts from on high. The expectation being that voters will reward them with re-election. As the public so quickly forgot the eleven out of thirteen years under Labour, of vast improvement in public services and exceptional improvement in living standards it wouldn’t surprise me if the ruse worked.

 

Advertisements

What Now for New Labour?

It’s anyone’s guess at the moment whether Gordon Brown will be able to survive the current political crisis although I suspect that he may hang on until the bitter end next year and the end will indeed be bitter.

When New Labour with Tony Blair were elected in 1997 the electorate would have given power to anyone rather than the Tory’s and at that point a golden opportunity was lost. With a huge majority Blair, with Brown as Chancellor, could have transformed the UK into a far better nation. Together they wasted the first two years by sticking with the economic plans put in place by the previous administration and then proceeded to expand the ‘free market economy’ and embraced and encouraged the money grubbing, me first culture of  profit before people. They increased the gap between the rich and the poor by deviously cutting the taxes of the wealthy and increasing the taxes on the less well off. They believed their own spin that the City of London could go on creating money from thin air and that house prices would increase exponentially for ever. They took us into an illegal war costing billions of Pounds and tens of thousands of lives and into another futile and expensive escapade in Afghanistan from which we have yet to be extradited. They have progressively introduced draconian state control of our citizens by way of surveillance, police powers and data linkage. Yes, they have done some good things and improvements to the NHS and Education spring to mind but even they are tarnished by the Public/Private Finance Initiative which will result in a huge outpouring of money into the private sector over many, many, years.

So what now for Gordon Brown and New Labour? The next election is lost so with nothing to lose why not make some real change in the time that is left. The MP’s expenses must of course be sorted out and pushing through some form of PR in time for the General Election would be mostly popular and have the advantage of limiting Labour’s losses. Abandon the ridiculous and unpopular ID Card Scheme along with Trident replacement and huge aircraft carriers, thus saving tens of billions of pounds. Recognise that killing Afghan tribesmen and devastating villages is an unwinnable war and in any case will do nothing to protect us from terrorist attacks here and in fact will make such attacks more likely. Some of the cash saved could be used to increase pensions towards the poverty line (£165) per week as pensioners are more likely to spend it and so help in the recovery of  industry and employment.

All of this could be done prior to the General Election and may go some way to ensuring a wiser Labour re-election in maybe five years rather than our nation suffering once again under a Tory government for ten or fifteen or more years.

Tesco Pension Chicken Shit

The following from the Guardian/Observer

“Tesco has lobbied the government to push through reforms to the UK’s retirement rules that would allow the supermarket to cut its final salary pension payouts if employees live longer than expected. Documents obtained under freedom of information rules reveal that the company told ministers that employers should be allowed more flexibility in administering their schemes in the light of rising retirement costs. The documents show for the first time that one of Britain’s major employers is concerned that the rising costs of defined-benefit pensions will become an increasing burden under current rules. The revelation is expected to dismay unions at the supermarket, which is one of a dwindling band of employers offering guaranteed retirement benefits. Tesco emphasised that it remained committed to its scheme, and was asking government for more flexibility to help keep costs under control.”

It seems then that Tesco care as much for their loyal employees as they do for their chickens. £2.85 billion profit for April 2008!

Post Navigation