Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/440/5214

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2006

What we think

Pensions 'crisis' - working class will pay the price

TONY BLAIR, we were told last week, wants to see major reform of Britain's decrepit pensions' system as his 'legacy'. Given the state of some of his previously desired 'legacies' - Iraq, the NHS, education, reform of public services to name a few - then the majority of people preparing to claim their pension from 2015 onwards will fear the worst.

Last week's news that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had come to a 'deal' on pensions - sounding like an agreement between two warring countries (not far from the truth) - will provoke indignation amongst millions.

Here are two men who will have a guaranteed pension pot of millions deciding how best to dole out in future the miniscule state spending allocated to pensions. Britain spends far less on pension provision than other EU countries.

This was not a debate about how to use the wealth of obscene profits of the big multinationals like Tesco and BP to improve the lot of the vast majority of pensioners in Britain living below the official poverty line. Nearly three million pensioners now claim pension credit.

Instead it was a discussion on how best to avoid a future social revolt against the increasing use of means testing for pensioners, something increasingly encroaching on the middle-class voters Labour believes it wins elections through.

The Blair and Brown argument about the implementation of the Turner Report on pensions was about how to save a future Brown government money and was a dispute over relatively small sums of money. There is no plan to increase the real amount of Gross Domestic Product spent on pensions over the decades ahead.

It means that the real pensions crisis that already exists for millions of working-class pensioners will not be addressed.

At present, this crisis means four out of ten pensioners live on less than 10,000 a year. More than 1.6 million pensioners have returned to work to supplement their meagre pensions. Millions of pensioners cut back on the essentials of heating and electricity just to live. A report in November 2005 revealed that over two million women are not entitled to a state pension nor do they have minimum entitlements.

Union response

THE BLAIR/Brown 'consensus' over implementing the Turner report has produced agreement that it will be the working class who pay the cost of pension reform.

To pay for claimed relatively minor 'improvements', working-class people will have to work up to three years longer (possibly more); see the restoration of the state pension's link to earnings occur five years later than Turner suggests and the increase from 2020 of the retirement age for women to 65.

The tax breaks and state subsidies that go to those high earners with gold-plated pension plans are likely to continue. And the government seems set to give subsidies to employers who say they cannot afford the pension contributions they are supposed to make under Turner's proposed scheme.

The TUC and some of its affiliated unions have initially welcomed the Turner report, whilst making minor criticisms about the increase in retirement age. However, there are signs from a number of unions that they could correctly reject the Turner Report's recommendations.

The GMB has announced it will oppose an increase in the state retirement age and at the CWU conference this coming week a number of motions rejecting the Turner Report are on the agenda.

At the same time the scheme negotiations for new entrants in the public sector are coming to a conclusion. But, the Tory Party has promised to rip up these agreements if elected at the next general election. This is a warning to all workers that attacks on their pensions - state and occupational - will be ever present under Labour or Tory governments.

Last year's united stand forced the government to back down in raising the retirement age for millions of public-sector workers.

That unity in action needs to be developed into a struggle on pensions generally, including the TUC calling a national demonstration opposing the raising of the state retirement age, and building a mass movement that solves the 'pension crisis' to the lasting benefit of the millions of working-class people now facing a poverty-stricken old age.


Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 May 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Blair's market madness wrecking the NHS

Save jobs and services


Global Warming

Environment: not safe in their hands


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Join the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


International socialist news and analysis

The Venezuelan president's 'vision of socialism'

Building on our election successes

Solidarity with Venezuelan workers

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Ailing German capitalism slashes workers' wages and conditions

Germany: WASG rebels suspended

Massive European Social Forum rally in Athens


Socialist Students

How students and staff saved Chemistry at Sussex


Pensions

Pensions 'crisis' - working class will pay the price

Rail unions battle over pensions


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Postal workers prepare for action

Privatisation fails workers and customers

Fighting strategy needed to save jobs

Northumbria lecturers forced to strike

Lecturers continue the fight for decent pay

A matter of life and death


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 May 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Pay:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleWhat we saw

Working class:

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Pensions:

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

triangleCWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

Pension:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger

Pensioners:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Britain:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/10/17

Refugees

Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2