Tuesday, May 15, 2007

If your not an elected politician or a civil servant then I have some bad news for you:

Man in a Shed has subscribed to the Economist since he was 17. He's a bit older now, and I tend to read it in bits over the week. The eye catching stuff first, but by about Tuesday the financial articles start to get a bit of attention. And what I want to review is this weeks Buttonwood on rising equity markets.

The article, Gored by the Bull (subscription might be needed), makes the point that a rising "Bull" market has losers as well as winners. It goes on to talk about pensions. Apparently you need a pension pot of about GBP 500,000 to buy a GBP20,000/year pension.

I don't have even remotely that size of pension pot. And even if I did save it Gordon Brown current hatred of the not public sector middle classes means that means testing will punish me for saving anyway.

The Economist article goes on to predict that we will have 4 distinct groups of people:

  1. The already wealthy will benefit from the rising market and be find ( even have enough to buy a NuLabour peerage or such ).
  2. Those who worked in the government and have final salary pension guaranteed by taxing their poorer citizens (vote Labour to keep the money coming in).
  3. Those who saved will be penalised when they saved, and afterwards thanks to means testing benefits.(Screwed by Labour)
  4. Those who will just throw themselves on the state for support.(Vote Labour for the money)
Potentially group 3 does most of the net paying (ok govt recycles money a bit - but generates no value) - everyone else gets the benefits. Remember Gordon Browns GBP 5 billion a year pension theft only attacks those who have either money purchase schemes - like most of the hard working private sector have to have - or helps to undermine company schemes. The Government are quite OK thanks - as they rely on the strong arm of the law via taxation to protect their interests.

Group 3 are the middle classes who don't read the Guardian or Independent ( as they have lush government funded pensions to rely on and the Inland Revenue and bailiffs to break down the doors of people who don't hand the money over ).

This should be political dynamite. It may have a long fuse, but the longer we wait to sort this out the bigger the bang is likely to be at the end.

I just wish the Conservative party would do something about this.

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