Work Till You Drop: How Austerity Affects Our Pensions

Wendy Cockcroft's picture

You'd think that after decades of active participation in the labour market your just reward would be to be able to sit back and enjoy a leisurely retirement at age sixty or sixty five. Not any more. According to the preliminary findings of former CBI boss John Cridland, people joining the workforce today may find they are obliged to work till their mid-seventies — or later — in order to qualify for their state pension. Why is this happening and how did Mr. Cridland arrive at that conclusion? From April 2028 the state retirement age will be the figure set after the review is published next May.

Wendy Cockcroft : Opinion: 'Middle-Out' A Pirate Solution For The Economy?


I'm basically a moderate conservative who sees the need for a well-funded welfare state governed by and for the people via a decentralised, distributed democratic process. My personal motto is,

"The individual must be free to act and the will of the people must be respected."

If this principle is not at the core of every policy those policies will fail. The needs and desires of BOTH the many and the one must be kept in balance, with neither gaining the advantage over the other if we want a fairer world. It's the reason I don't vote for the major parties; each of their philosophies tends towards nanny-knows-best authoritarianism and I don't like being told what to do by people who don't care about me.

At the moment, we're caught between the Left/Right dichotomy with either Socialism or Free Market Supply-side ideologies being touted as the solution despite neither of them ever having been proven to work in practice. Middle-out is a departure from both and would create a more inclusive society by providing incentives for production, rewarding labour, and funding a robust welfare state. Let's take a closer look at it.

Osborne leaves UK in the Economic Slow Lane with a Bingo Budget

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 - 13:30

We deserve a smart recovery and investment

The government announced a package of measures including changes to pension taxation, focus on oil and gas energy, changes to ISAs, road building, expansion of the Help to Buy scheme which is currently linked to rising house prices.

The budget did not make any commitments to digital infrastructure and little substantial for next generation manufacture. A report from NFU Mutual has warned that lack of suitable Internet access is "damaging" rural children's education prospects. In a survey by Accenture 58% of businesses believed that UK investment in technological innovation lagged behind the US and Asian competitors.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

"George Osborne's budget condemns the UK to the economic slow lane. The real way to build in resilience to Britain's economy is to invest boldly in smart manufacturing, smarter, cheaper energy and digital infrastructure. This is what will create long term sustainable growth where everyone gets their fair share."

"Now the whole economy is the digital economy. Investment must be significantly increased to boost smart jobs. We are falling behind our global competitors in reach and speed. The rural and urban broadband funds have been damp squibs.. There must be proper competition for broadband funding, not just a BT monopoly. Digital businesses must not be burdened with government interference like calls for web filtering or site blocking."

People's Assembly: Democratic Reform

Mr. Loz Kaye
Talk Date: 
Saturday, 22 June, 2013
Talk Location: 
People's Assembly
United Kingdom

Supporting the motion 'The Mainstream Parties Have Failed'

Mr. Loz Kaye
Talk Date: 
Friday, 1 June, 2012
Talk Location: 
United Kingdom

Opinion: A boost for Innovation in New Zealand

Its not often that we see positive reforms of copyright or patent systems, in fact the vast majority of changes that we see are tightening of regulations, a tightening that is too often driven by corporate lobby groups over the objections of innovators, developers and creators.  It seems like an ever rising tide of restrictions, covering more and more areas, limiting what any of us can do, reuse or build upon.

Well that tide seems to be on the verge of turning. Not in the UK yet perhaps, but certainly in New Zealand.  The long awaited Patents Bill, amending legislation from 1953, has been passed in New Zealand.  It is a bill has been a long time coming, first proposed in July 2008, it was met with intense lobbying from multinationals and spurred almost 5 years of debate and controversy.    

Opinion: £53 and the Problem With UK Politics

Andrew Norton's picture

The current furore over the Work and Pensions Minister, Ian Duncan Smith, is highlighting not just the glibness of modern politicians when speaking to the media, but also that much of the media is focused on partisan bickering rather than on the reporting of news.  There are two main aspects to this story. The first is the promise made by Ian Duncan Smith, and the second is the response to it.

So let's start with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. 

Earlier this week he said he could live on £53 a week, in response to one man's complaint of the Governments cuts. 'If I had to I would' he said on BBC Radio 4. This was swiftly followed by calls to put his money where his mouth is, or, perhaps more accurately, try to feed his mouth with the money he offers.


Opinion: From Triple A to Triple Dip

Editor's picture

In February 2010, just before the general election, chancellor George Osborne set out his economic objectives "against which I expect to be judged". High among them was retaining Britain's AAA credit rating.  Now the credit rating agency Moody's has stripped Britain of its AAA rating. So judging Osborne by his own criterion, he has failed.   Moody's explained their decision as due to "continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook, with a period of sluggish growth which it now expects will extend into the second half of the decade". Put simply, the economy isn't growing, and isn't expected to grow, and the implication of that for our debt to GDP ratio is dire.