17 Jul 2013

All in it together?

The chancellor’s mantra since the beginning of what’s becoming an era of austerity has been that “we’re all in this together”.

But a report today from the public spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, makes it clear that Britain’s ageing population will mean that pressures on government finances will continue for many years to come – and that the costs and benefits will not be evenly spread.

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The cost of pensions, health and social care for the older generation will continue to rise, but there will be a shrinking sector of people of working age left to pay for it.

And that could be a recipe for economic warfare between the generations.

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Follow @faisalislam on Twitter

6 reader comments

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Faisal,

    Precisely.

    It is divide et impera……as old as humanity and the corrupters who practice it.

    It has already begun over in Europe. Example: during a recent visit to Spain the son of a friend of mine attacked pension provisions for the elderly. His simple-minded argument ran, “They should suffer as much as the young.” Trying to talk sense to him was like trying to talk sense to a Yank creationist. I could quote many other examples.

    That is the measure of the “success” of the evil propaganda shoved down the throats of the young. Now you know why Hitler was so “successful” at corrupting the 1930s youth of Germany.

    You might as well get used to it because the lies and poverty will increase. There is much, much worse in store…….possibly yet another war in the Middle East and more overt suppression at home. And don’t look to this Parliament of Scoundrels to help.

  2. B says:

    Run kids! Fly abroad. They only know how to take. Wages will be undercut by official and yet more unofficial means.

  3. Graham Riches says:

    Please, during your excellent coverage, remember to consider that many of the current pensioners will have routinely paid on “earned” income “Basic” rate(s) over 30 pence in the pound during certain periods and some may have paid 83 pence plus possibly 15% “investment income surcharge” at some time(s).
    Perhaps there are those NOW willing to pay such rates that are not pensioners, when at least they do not have to routinely pay interest rates relating to house purchases that at times previously exceeded 15%.
    Graham Riches, FCII (retired 2008 but with my only children still just 7 & 10 years old so with various “vested” interests)

  4. Martin Mallin says:

    Anybody would think that older people were criminals the way the argument is currently running. Yet another divide and rule argument from the government. If it’s not immigration it’s benefits and now you can add old people to the list. I wonder where the finger will point next as a diversionary tactic.

    Most of us older people have paid taxes throughout our working lives as well as PAYE, and bought homes and raised the generation that is now giving us a lot of stick for getting older. We are not freeloaders and I resent the inference that currently passes for debate.

    And many of us have also paid into occupational pensions, (in my case paying 6% of my gross earnings on which I now pay income tax, so I’m not not a drain on the UK’s finances) to help ensure a reasonable standard of living in our dotage. It’s not our fault that house prices have gone up or various governments have tried to woo us with incentives like the winter fuel allowance and bus passes – soon to be a distant memory.

    Give us a break folks if you must blame somebody, blame those responsible for the financial pickle we ALL find ourselves in not the generation that has helped this country prosper.

  5. Philip says:

    This looks to me like a political preparation for an assault on pensions.
    I agree with those who point out that today’s pensioners paid taxes – often at higher rates than those currently in force. For some of us, our employer decided that they preferred to employ younger people than us & retired us early, whether we wanted to or not. I continue to work 8 years after this happened to me, doing work which I don’t think could or would be done by younger people. But if you reduce pensions & increase the pension age, elementary logic tells you there will continue to be more, older people in/seeking employment competing with younger people.
    The actual problem is much wider – an economy where 20% of jobs are skilled & well paid & 80% which are virtually unskilled on or close to minimum wage. Until we start recreating skilled jobs, younger people will be condemned to a life of virtual poverty, unable to buy a house (until their parents die) & often dependent on benefits of some sort. If we required employers to pay a living wage, perhaps they’d see the point in upskilling jobs.

  6. Andrew Dundas says:

    Policy is needed to re-balance taxes between both NICs, and income & corporation taxes. NICs have become secondary income & business taxes that only cut the net incomes of working people – they’re a tax on jobs too.
    Pensioners like me don’t pay any NIC and enjoy much lower income tax rates too. Moreover there are many more of us and the better-off pensioners have v low taxes on our investment incomes as well. None of that is either fair or reasonable.
    Re-balancing taxes should NOT lead to an overall increase in taxes. Moreover, a limit on government debt:GDP ratio should be subject to Parliamentary vote.
    Taxes need to fall mostly on highest incomes to invest in converting low earners into becoming higher earners.
    So there we have it: re-balanced taxation to ensure we each pay a Fair Share of public services.

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