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Dave Beans

Gordon Brown's Pensions Annus Horribilis Revealed

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Even though I believe Gordon Brown was a total tax junkie who inherited a fairly sound (by today's political standards) financial state of affairs in 1997, and he squandered hundreds of billions of £'s in his misguided crusade for social justice and to eradicate child poverty in Britain, I don't buy this argument about pensions.

Britain's demographics were always going to render the old gold plated final salary pensions unsustainable, and isn't there already a big enough concentration of wealth in the older generation?

Whilst we're on the subject of demographics, does anybody else think that was probably the biggest motivation for the open door immigration policy that seemed to gather momentum around the turn of the millenium?

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Some other motivation other than/instead of older generation demographics is needed to explain the open door immigration policy when looking at the real level of unemployment in the UK including among young people.

That is the real level, not the dodgy statistics level, including part time zero hour contract work, temporary contract work, self (un)employment, young people borrowing to go to higher education so that they're not included in the unemployment statistics, unemployed people moved onto the benefits system, people retiring early, plus of course the official unemployment figures - etc etc.

When it's all added up there's getting on for about 40% of the UK's working age population unemployed - at least.

Edited by billybong

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Even though I believe Gordon Brown was a total tax junkie who inherited a fairly sound (by today's political standards) financial state of affairs in 1997, and he squandered hundreds of billions of £'s in his misguided crusade for social justice and to eradicate child poverty in Britain, I don't buy this argument about pensions.

Britain's demographics were always going to render the old gold plated final salary pensions unsustainable, and isn't there already a big enough concentration of wealth in the older generation?

Whilst we're on the subject of demographics, does anybody else think that was probably the biggest motivation for the open door immigration policy that seemed to gather momentum around the turn of the millenium?

Gordon Brown's addiction to tax and spend was nothing to with social justice. Like all politicians since Thatcher he was simply following the agenda of the One Percent with the aim of entrenching plutocracy. Thus tax credits and building new hospitals and schools using PFI were naked grabs of taxpayer funds that directly subsidised and benefited big businesses. The huge ongoing costs of PFI will also, ultimately, result in the breakdown, break up and privatisation of the NHS.

The open door for immigration is not about retirement age or demographics (immigrants, too, will grow old). Immigration is another tool for the restoration of plutocracy. Immigration has been used to lower wages and dilute union power with the aim of destroying the working class and (once again) benefiting business.

People tell me that I'm slightly Odd....

http://itsarandomworld.com/2014/03/24/

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Even more interesting the Unions stayed silent whilst this was happening. However all union top brass where busy playing at champagne socialism.

Labour needed quick easy money to boost the economy and prove they where financially responsible plus Brown thought he'd stopped boom / bust therefore the money wouldn't be missed.

But this top-up was abolished by Mr Brown in his Budget day speech of July 1997. He told the Commons: ‘Many pension funds are in substantial surplus and at present many companies are enjoying pension holidays, so this is the right time to undertake a long-needed reform.’

The good times where starting and nothing was going to stop him. He was prepared to totally feck over everyone and that he did.

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Britain's demographics were always going to render the old gold plated final salary pensions unsustainable, and isn't there already a big enough concentration of wealth in the older generation?

Whilst we're on the subject of demographics, does anybody else think that was probably the biggest motivation for the open door immigration policy that seemed to gather momentum around the turn of the millenium?

Yep, pension promises were never sustainable. But surely the immigration was due to the supposition that lower-skilled[1] immigrants (once they've been here long enough to vote) predominantly vote Labour.

[1] That is, those who wouldn't've got in on a points-based system.

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Gordon Brown's addiction to tax and spend was nothing to with social justice. Like all politicians since Thatcher he was simply following the agenda of the One Percent with the aim of entrenching plutocracy. Thus tax credits and building new hospitals and schools using PFI were naked grabs of taxpayer funds that directly subsidised and benefited big businesses. The huge ongoing costs of PFI will also, ultimately, result in the breakdown, break up and privatisation of the NHS.

The open door for immigration is not about retirement age or demographics (immigrants, too, will grow old). Immigration is another tool for the restoration of plutocracy. Immigration has been used to lower wages and dilute union power with the aim of destroying the working class and (once again) benefiting business.

People tell me that I'm slightly Odd....

http://itsarandomworld.com/2014/03/24/

I rather like the 'cut of your jib' rh2409!

Of course just wait until the middle class is destroyed and turned into a precariat. "But But our 19th century neo liberal paradigm was only supposed to destroy the working class!"

Edited by aSecureTenant

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I rather like the 'cut of your jib' rh2409!

Of course just wait until the middle class is destroyed and turned into a precariat. "But But our 19th century neo liberal paradigm was only supposed to destroy the working class!"

Yep...all those smug middle class idiots working for the BBC and Channel 4, making snide nudge nudge freak show programmes about the "benefit scrounging" working class really don't realise whats waiting for them. They've eaten the working class, now they're coming for you.....

People tell me that I'm slightly Odd....

http://itsarandomworld.com/2014/03/24/

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...Don't we need more working age people as it is (such as immigrants), just to support the status quo, in regards to pensions?

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Thus tax credits and building new hospitals and schools using PFI were naked grabs of taxpayer funds that directly subsidised and benefited big businesses.

Just to clarify, are you in favour of massive cuts to the health and education budgets and are you in favour of the elimination of tax credits and massive cuts to the welfare budget?

.

Secure tennant, same question to you.

Edited by Goat

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Yep...all those smug middle class idiots working for the BBC and Channel 4, making snide nudge nudge freak show programmes about the "benefit scrounging" working class really don't realise whats waiting for them. They've eaten the working class, now they're coming for you.....

People tell me that I'm slightly Odd....

http://itsarandomworld.com/2014/03/24/

Maybe another Black Death will fix everything. Or a 'proper' war.

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Just to clarify, are you in favour of massive cuts to the health and education budgets and are you in favour of the elimination of tax credits and massive cuts to the welfare budget?

.

Secure tennant, same question to you.

It would certainly be interesting to see how much the welfare state could be run for if all private profit was eliminated. We could probably cut the funding quite significantly without affecting the level of services, or even improving services in some sectors. Taking your specific example, although I suspect it represents a tiny proportion of funds compared to those being directly gifted to commercial companies in deals that would be unworkable in a free market setting, we'd be unlikely to need tax credits if successive governments had spent a fraction of the money they've used to artificially prop up the the cost of private housing (HB, RTB, HTB1, HTB2, FLS, etc) on maintaining a reasonable proportion of state built and owned social housing instead. Government funnelling of public money into private profits represents a market distortion that our economy would be better off without.

Edit: to add on the housing front, I should have included planning regs which convey "value" to those private companies and individuals lucky enough to be gifted the right to build on their own land, scrapping planning regs (but not building regs, which actually serve a sensible purpose but are currently being undermined by shoddy outsourcing practices designed more to gift profits to private companies than actually enforce good practice) and we could significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for subsidised housing provision in the first place.

Edited by Lo-fi

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It would certainly be interesting to see how much the welfare state could be run for if all private profit was eliminated.

A post I made on another thread: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=197663&page=6

.....it makes no difference to Tesco or virtually any other min-wage employer what the wage rate is. In a competetive market the benefit of any reduction in wages will very quickly be passed onto the consumer, Tesco will end up making the same profit at £5/hour, £7/hour or £10/hour so long as everyone else in the same industry is paying the same rate.

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I'm not sure that works out exactly as you describe: low wages depress consumer spending and profits so Tesco might actually be better off paying higher wages than the effective floor set by the minimum wage (depending on other factors such as cost of living). In fact I would go so far as to say that tax credits effectively act as a government prop for businesses who offer unsustainably low wages (in the context of current artifically inflated housing costs) that would not otherwise generate sufficient consumer demand to maintain those self same businesses (and/or housing costs).

Btw according to HMRC the annual cost of both in and out of work Tax Credits is £27.899 Bn whereas the current annual cost of Private Finance Initiatives is £54.7121 Bn, so PFI is almost twice the drain on government finances that tax credits are. Together they represent more than 75% of the declared deficit:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130129110402/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ppp_pfi_stats.htm

www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/fin-main-stats/cwtc-awards.pdf‎

So theoretically we could eliminate most of the declared deficit by cutting HTB, etc, allowing a HPC and thereby reducing or eliminating the need for tax credits; and finding a way to renege on PFI deals (instead of continuing to enter into new ones!) which are so clearly fleecing the taxpayer that they must involve corruption or at least severe incompetence (perhaps this could be the next big "misselling" windfall).

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