Wednesday 24 February 2016

Pension Ponzi

Another day on the campaign trail – can it really be under a week old? – and another barrage of lies and fearmongering from the Remainders. A little over a third of the CEOs of the FTSE 100 companies have put their name to a letter supporting remaining in the EU; to the media and apparently to people like David Cameron this is a ringing endorsement by a majority. It all seems to make so much sense now because the same desperately flawed (and just plain desperate) mathematical thinking informs everything EU-fanatical economists say. Well here's a little fear from me.

Take the Ponzi scheme on which Merkel and Cameron and Hollande and Uncle Tom Bollocks and all are relying on to prevent their being lynched by angry mobs. Pensioners may be old and rheumatic and senile and toothless, but they are a growth market and command many votes. And having paid in through an entire long lifetime of work – starting at fourteen or fifteen years old in many cases – and having been told during that entire time that they must work harder and for longer and pay an ever greater share of their relatively shrinking incomes into the system, is it any wonder that they want their pensions? You know, the pensions they have been promised from the day they started paying tax.

Except their governments have spent it, haven’t they? Like Robert Maxwell, they treated the pensions portion of contributions, whatever fancy name they gave it, like current income; robbing Peter to pay Paul and relying on the sacred, Holy Grail of economic growth to cover the pension costs. If we can only increase the work force, by whatever means possible, we can borrow enough money on the never-never to keep the old fogies off our backs. Now that it looks likely that the keepers of the Christmas Club will abscond with the members’ money their argument is wearing thin.

Nobody in the UK earning less than around £30k and without dependents pays sufficient tax through PAYE to clear their own share of the entire deal. To cover the cost of our engorged state and its commitments, let alone pay back our creditors, every working person needs to contribute, on average, upwards of £6000 each year. Every penny claimed back in tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit and the like is a cost that has to be recovered from the rest of us. Have children and you can forget about making a net contribution unless you are earning what for most people is an impossible dream.

Hey, where did da money go?

Could somebody from the Remain camp explain how importing workers on wages so low they pay virtually no tax at all, or workers who through the tax credit system pay negative tax, contribute to keeping future pensions secure? Add to this the impossibility of many low paid families ever accruing savings or buying a home and you have what can only be concluded is an unsustainable, unstable model. When in future the government raids your bank account – Cyprus style – in a now established EU routine, ask yourself why you voted to stay in a club which cares not one jot for you or your family. Or your pension.


  1. The West entered the quicksand of unsustainable pensions and welfare and therefore adding the quagmire of debt a long time ago. Oh how good intentions go awry. Socialism in all it's forms propagating the utopian idea that massive unrestricted redistribution of wealth would be the righteous and moral panacea for all humans ills is turning out to be a cure more harmfull and dangerous than the disease.

    Well the cure may eventually leave it's patients more crippled and impoverished than would have been the case if the cure had been applied more sensibly. No greed and corruption overcame sense. The patients said gimme we want to live the life of idle luxury and the doctors said sure as long as you vote for me.

  2. Funny you should mention old people in your well thought out insightful article Batters. After a day out campaigning, having to counter arguments by people who had some "firm" views and not really changing their mind, on the way home an old dear was having trouble opening her door. So I helped her, and she proceeded to tell me she supported me, because of (insert a whole lot of misquotes, wrong attribution, misunderstood policy etc.) and I was left with the feeling, "so much for logical argument, and rational thinking". She has exactly the same voting power as I, and anyone else has. On the one hand I was saddened, but on the other I was thinking "well, result!" The upcoming referendum will be decided by a lot of people not really understanding the issues. "Discuss" as they say.