Monthly Column

May 2006



Comments on the activities of the Labour Chancellor



Gordon Brown, the Labour Chancellor, having great holes in his financial requirements for running this country which are leading to stealth taxes of all sorts and further discrimination against the middle classes (or the population with slightly higher average IQs), promises to give away 15 billion dollars of tax-payers' money as an aid to 'education' in some of the 'poorest countries'. It is not clear whether or why this should make the poorest countries any less poor, or make their populations better able to run their affairs in such a way as to become richer.


And who is suffering from the shortage of funding towards aid which they might be receiving in this country? The 'middle class' for example, who are having to sell their houses to pay for institutional 'care' in old age.


And those, such as myself, who have paid into the State Pension scheme throughout their working lives, and now find that their pensions are going to 'wither on the vine', as only those who have not saved too much money will receive pension supplements to bring the total up to something more adequate, and more comparable with what it would have been by now if the former system of regular increments had continued.


In my case, having been deprived of earning capacity, at least until such time as I could secure reinstatement in an appropriate academic career, I carefully paid the voluntary contributions each year, although I had no salary, so that when I reached retirement age I would at least have the State pension to reduce the badness of my position in comparison with those who, by then, had had the forty-year salaried academic career on which I am still trying to get started.


But as my life was dependent on capital increments, and not income from a salary, on account of having had my prospects in life ruined by the 'education' for which the state paid, my savings are now too great for me to receive the supplementary pension income which is paid to the 'poorest'.

So, as my deprived position results from the harm done to my prospects in life by so- called 'education', I think that the Chancellor would do better to keep my state pension up to scratch than to present it to countries overseas.


In general, of course, this means-testing of pensions in order to save the Chancellor money for other purposes, discriminates against anyone with a savings habit, which is likely to go with a responsible and forethoughtful outlook, whether or not they have been so fortunate as to be salaried.



Celia Green